Council tax could rise by almost four per cent for households across Cumbria.

The proposed rise comes as Cumbria County Council aims to slash a further £70m from its budget in the next five years.

Today, cabinet members discussed proposals on how the huge financial challenge could be met.

They are proposing to increase the council's share of council tax by 1.99 per cent, while the Government has already introduced the ability to apply an additional 2 per cent precept to help fund the rising costs of adult social care.

Under the proposals those living in a Band D property would pay an extra £51 in council tax in 2018/2019.

The council launched its budget consultation and is urging members of the public to submit their views - on whether it should apply its 1.99 per cent rise this year or not - before January 8.

Since 2011 the authority has already made savings of £214m.

Every one per cent increase in council tax generates £2m of income and for the last three years the authority has agreed to increase it by almost 2 per cent.

It accounts for about 57 per cent of the council's budget.

Proposals for a new vision for the council and outcomes for the people of Cumbria were also discussed.

Deputy leader Ian Stewart said his authority needed a fresh approach and that it needed to become more entrepreneurial to maximise opportunities and generate income.

“The ongoing financial pressures on the public sector remain difficult and challenging," he said.

"Much of this pressure is down to the widespread uncertainty we face regarding our funding but also the fact that council services to support children, young people and vulnerable adults and older people currently face unprecedented demand.

“What is clear is that the council will have to deliver essential services with less money. All of this means we have had to look quite radically at how we do business.

"Looking at transforming our services over the next three to four years in order to deliver on our responsibilities to the people of Cumbria, putting customers at the heart of what we do and being more enterprising and efficient."

The consultation document is available at

Feedback from the public consultation will inform a new Council Plan which will be considered by cabinet before going before full council in February 2018 alongside the Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for 2018-2022.