COPELAND Council has launched a consultation into next year’s budget – and wants the public’s views.
The Council must save £1 million in 2018/19, due largely to the reduction in Central Government grants, and is prioritising the delivery of its statutory commitments while increasingly using income and grants to run its discretionary services.
Among the proposals outlined in the consultation document, launched today (Wednesday, November 1), are:
- investing £1.5 million in bereavement services, including building an additional small chapel and installing a second cremator at Distington Hall crematorium
- investing £500,000 in IT to enable increased electronic access to council services
- accessing external funding to work with owners of empty homes to bring them back into use.
The public is also being asked for its views on how the Council collects recycling from residents, ahead of a new kerbside service being launched in April.
Also proposed is a 1.95 per cent increase in Copeland Council’s share of council tax, and increases in line with inflation in its fees and charges.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “We are working incredibly hard to maintain services amidst ever decreasing budgets. We’re pleased to be proposing investment in our bereavement services and IT, while keeping our increases to charges in line with inflation. This includes an increase in crematorium charges, which would be the first in two years.
“It’s also worth reminding people that we only keep around 11 per cent of the council tax you pay, which is an average of £3.28 per week, for all the services we provide.
“We want to hear our residents’ views on how we spend their money, and I’d urge everyone to respond to our consultation.”
The consultation runs until Monday, December 18. The document is available at www.copeland.gov.uk, where residents can complete an online questionnaire.
Hard copies, including the questionnaire, are also available at Copeland Council’s offices at Market Hall, Whitehaven, and St George’s Road, Millom, and in libraries across the borough