Service Transformation

05.02.19

Cumbria County Council facing £47m debt as it deals with host of ‘uncertainties’

Cumbria County Council needs to find £47m in cuts as it prepares to meet and set its budget, but councillors have warned that “uncertainty” has affected plans for savings and that businesses “struggling to predict the unpredictable.”

The council will meet for a crucial budget talks later this month still needing to cut £46.9m from its budget between 2019 and 2022, and deputy leader Peter Thornton has warned that the future funding of the council remains unclear.

A 3.99% increase in council tax is expected, but plans for cutbacks have been held back as the council waited for a government reforms which Thornton said will impact “how we provide our frontline services over the next few years.”

He said the authority was still awaiting details from the fair funding review consultation which closed last March, and criticised the government over the green paper on social care for adults which was due six months ago but has not yet been published.

Consultation is also currently out for business rate retention reform which will form a major part of the future funding for the council from 2020-21.

“Dealing with all of these uncertainties we must plan for the next three years, for there are some things of which we are certain,” Thornton said.

The council needs to provide care for around 700 children and 8,000 elderly residents and vulnerable adults – on top of maintaining infrastructure for 5,000 miles of road, 1,775 bridges and potholes.

Thornton also said the council plans on opening two new care homes in Carlisle and Copeland, and paid tribute to council staff who he described as “an asset beyond price.”

Cumbria also faces further uncertainty with plans in the county for a major local government reorganisation which would see the council abolished in favour of a larger, single unitary council.

The county council submitted proposals for the unitary system in November 2018, and the changes reportedly offer a significant financial incentive for merger services whilst the council prepares to set out its £47m of savings.

Last month it emerged that up to 200 council jobs could be lost if the merger between the county’s seven councils goes ahead.

Cumbria is the latest of many councils considering replacing their current structure with unitary authorities, with Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire councils all considering or having approved plans.

 Image credit - Geograph

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Sponsored roundabouts policy earns Bradford Council £128k a year

14/08/2019Sponsored roundabouts policy earns Bradford Council £128k a year

Bradford Council’s policy of allowing businesses to pay for sponsorships of roundabouts and grass verges has seen the local authority bring... more >
Council-owned solar farm generates £1.2m for frontline services

14/08/2019Council-owned solar farm generates £1.2m for frontline services

West Suffolk Council, through its local authority-owned solar farm, has raised more than £1.2m in funds to support frontline services in th... more >
TechnologyOne: Setting the foundation for shared service success

14/08/2019TechnologyOne: Setting the foundation for shared service success

Anwen Robinson, UK Operating Officer at TechnologyOne - an enterprise SaaS company - explains why adopting an enterprise vision is key ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
View all News

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both simpler and more transparent. These regulatory changes are designed to help achieve its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes per year by the mid-2020s.  ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News