Cumbria

Carlisle City Council and Eden District Council agree budgets

Two Cumbrian councils have set their budgets for the coming year.

Carlisle councillors - who had delayed their decision because of new proposals to freeze council tax and councillors' allowances - approved their budget on Thursday.

It includes plans to remove equipment from 20 play areas in order to save £25,000-a-year maintenance costs.

Councillors in Eden also agreed their spending plans with a council tax rise of 1.99%.

Carlisle City Council's plan to remove slides and swings from some of its play parks sparked protests from families and a 1,000-name name petition was handed in at the Civic Centre on Tuesday.

'Spending pressures'

The Labour-run council said it had to cut almost £4m from its £13m annual budget.

Council leader Colin Glover said: "Substantial savings are required, but despite spending pressures, we've frozen council tax for two years and taken steps to protect services.

"We're also investing in our resources, including the Old Town Hall whilst developing new facilities like the arts centre [in the old fire station]."

Eden District Council said its council tax rise was in line with inflation and represented an extra 7p a week for a Band D property.

It has also set aside £500,00 to invest in economic development, which includes supporting plans for road improvements in Penrith.

Councillor Kevin Beaty, Eden's resources portfolio holder, said: "This will help us to meet the key challenges facing the council and maintain services that our residents value, such as weekly refuse collections, public toilets and the popular Eden Community Fund."

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