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Have your say on budget plans

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COPELAND Council has launched a consultation into next year’s budget – and wants to hear the public’s views.

The council is prioritising the delivery of its statutory commitments while increasingly using income and grants to run its discretionary services.

As part of a number of questions included in the consultation document, launched today (Wednesday), residents are being asked what they think the council’s priorities should be in terms of town centres, coastal areas and open spaces.

The public is also being asked for its views on a number of discretionary services provided by the council, including the collection of garden waste and the delivery of sandbags.

Also proposed is a 1.95 per cent increase in Copeland Council’s share of council tax, and increases in line with inflation in some of its fees and charges.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “We are working incredibly hard to maintain services amidst ever decreasing budgets. It’s worth reminding people that we only keep around 11 per cent of the council tax you pay, which is an average of £3.97 per week, per household, for all the services we provide.

“For the fifth consecutive budget, we are not proposing any cuts to frontline services. But the reality is that we do have to make savings and are looking at ways that this could be achieved.

“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 Wednesday, January 8. The document is available at 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.