Budget Consultation

Closed 12 Jan 2024

Opened 15 Dec 2023


Foreword from the Leader of Cumberland Council and the Portfolio Holder for Financial Planning and Assets

1 April 2023 made a mark in Cumbrian history as the first day of the new Cumberland Council.

Local Government Reorganisation in Cumbria has brought together all of the council services previously provided by the Allerdale, Carlisle, Copeland and County councils – everything from adult social care to zoo licences - into the new Cumberland Council in your area.

Work prior to 1 April was focused on making sure services continued safely through that transition. Our initial budget and spending for this current financial year was based on plans devised by the former councils.

This is our first opportunity to shape a budget which reflects the priorities in our Council Plan. Unfortunately, that budget will be set in an unprecedented financial climate for local government, with councils struggling up and down the country. The figures are stark - in a recent report from the County Council’s Network 42% of councils were not confident of producing a balanced budget by 2024/25, and this rises to 68% by 2025/26.

We are facing significant demand on our Children’s and Adults services - these are essential support services for our most vulnerable people, but the increasing complexity of cases, the cost of living crisis, and profiteering by parts of the private sector are creating a perfect storm of pressure on those budget areas.

We also face extremely high levels of inflation, whilst needing to invest in our assets to reduce our carbon footprint for the benefit of everyone, and all of this is on top of 13 years of austerity cuts to existing budgets which have taken around £300million of council grant funding out of the wider Cumbria area since 2010 – millions that should have been spent on services to you.

We are also still waiting for the promised Fair Funding Review, which should have been implemented in 2020, and which should have provided new baseline funding for all councils based on properly assessed needs. This is particularly important for more rural and sparsely populated areas like Cumberland, where the current methods of allocating funding simply do not work and leave us disproportionately worse off.

Every year we have to set a budget that balances – so that the money we spend matches the money we receive.

As we plan our spending for the year ahead, we would appreciate your views on:

  • Whether we are prioritising resources in the right areas
  • Your suggestions for how we make further savings, and
  • Our council tax proposals 

The following pages will outline our priorities and current budget and proposals.  We look forward to reading all of your responses.

Cllr Mark Fryer, Leader of Cumberland Council.

Cllr Barbara Cannon, Portfolio Holder for Financial Planning and Assets


  • All residents


  • Budget setting