Cumbria council to axe 100 jobs after tax freeze

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Cumbria County Council is to axe 100 jobs after it agreed to freeze its share of council tax in 2012/13.

At its annual budget meeting in Kendal on Thursday, councillors chose to accept the government's offer of a one-off £5.1m freeze grant.

Those in favour argued that it was not fair on Cumbria's tax payers to increase council tax bills in the current economic climate.

Opposing councillors fear it will leave a "deeper hole" in the budget.

'Step back'

The 51 councillors who approved the freeze said it was not fair on Cumbria's taxpayers to increase council tax bills in the current economic climate and they say the council has a duty to keep the figure as low as possible for as long as they can.

However, the 22 opposing councillors pointed out that it will leave a deeper hole in the 2013/14 budget.

In addition to the £5.7m savings planned for 2013/14, it will now need to find an additional £3m.

The total revenue budget, excluding funding for schools, is £353.842m for 2012/13, down from £364.5m in 2011/12 and £383.3m in 2010/11.

Councillor Stewart Young, deputy leader of Cumbria County Council, said it would have to "step back from from services which we are not statutorily required to deliver".

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