Local Government in Cumbria in Crisis

26th June 2013

Copeland MP and Shadow Health Minister Jamie Reed has responded to the Comprehensive Spending Review today, announcing a further 10% cut to the local government budget, taking the total real terms cut to local government to 50% since 2010. He said:

“Cumbria is a county with an economy that is heavily dependent upon public spending. We urgently need to rebalance this and grow our private sector, but slashing council budgets makes this harder to do. 

“Not only this, but the statutory functions of councils are now becoming almost impossible to deliver.

“Child protection in Cumbria is failing, adult social services and elderly care are under real pressure, the County Council has closed care homes,  new school investments have been withdrawn. In Copeland, the Borough Council has had its budget decimated, formerly occupied council buildings are empty, the civic hall, public toilets, grass cutting and other services are under real threat and the very fabric of our communities is under threat.

“These further cuts will damage the private sector, not just the public sector, and make it harder, not easier for us to rebalance the economy and grow. It also means that the current local government structures in Cumbria are at breaking point and restructure is now needed, or else collapse is guaranteed.

“Quite simply, no organisation can be asked to do a job and then not be given the resources with which to do that job and I am writing to Eric Pickles to seek a meeting to address these issues.

“I will continue to press government Ministers on these issues: schools, health, local energy industries and the structure of local government and I hope that common sense will prevail – we deserve much better than what we are getting.”

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