‘Public must stand up and shout over cuts’ West Cumbria councillor
Last updated at 17:05, Monday, 15 July 2013
CUTBACKS to services in Copeland are “just the tip of the iceberg” according to Copeland Borough Council’s leader.
The council has already seen cuts of £5m from its budget since 2010, but recent proposals mean a further £2.5m must be slashed by 2015.
Council leader Elaine Woodburn, who will discuss the issue with Labour councillors at a meeting tonight, says financial restructuring and revenue cuts could slash a further 20 per cent from the council’s budget by 2015, adding up to around 50 per cent cuts since 2010.
She said: “We have built up the discretionary services over a number of years and that’s what people are used to. However there are services that we have to provide and things like cutting the grass will go.
“People need to understand that screaming and shouting at Copeland won’t help. I can completely understand their frustration but the government is playing a very clever game and getting people to blame local authorities.
“They want the Big Society and communities to fill the gaps but it just isn’t working.
“I think people are wise to it but they need to stand up and start shouting at the central government to make their voices heard.”
Borough and Millom town councillor, Jack Park says he fears that the council could be stretched to the point that it may no longer be able to provide even statutory services.
He said: “We are very apprehensive about the future of Copeland Borough Council. The county council has also received massive cuts. It’s non-statutory services that are going to take the hit, but we don’t see how the council will be able to provide essential services if this carries on much longer.
“There is always the possibility that more cuts will be brought in before 2015.”
Last week Copeland MP Jamie Reed echoed Cllr Park’s fears, suggesting that Copeland could be on the “verge of collapse”.
Cllr Woodburn added: “This is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2010/11 we had a budget of around £14/15m and by 2015 we will be lucky to have £9m.
“This government seems determined to eradicate local authorities.”
First published at 17:03, Monday, 15 July 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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