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Local MP's greet budget news for Cumbria

Rory Stewart and John Stevenson MP took to Twitter to express their joy at the 2016 Budget plans for Cumbria.

In yesterday's 2016 Budget announcement, Chancellor George Osborne confirmed a £700million boost to funding flood defences across flood-hit regions including Cumbria as well as upgrade plans for the A66 and A69.

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The region's MPs react to the 2016 Budget

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New taxes could hit Cumbrian economy in 2016 Budget

Credit: PA

Chancellor George Osborne is preparing to deliver his 2016 Budget later this morning.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is calling on the Chancellor not to introduce new taxes on businesses.

The organisation says new taxes would hit business investment and economic growth in Cumbria and should be ruled out until the next General Election.

D&G Council budget cuts a 'sad day' for the region

Credit: ITV News Border

Dumfries and Galloway Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson said that yesterday's announcement of £21million budget cuts was a 'sad day' for the region.

The cuts will mean a loss of 250 jobs at the council alone, with many more expected in other organisations.

Councillors turned to cutting a pack of cards to settle the final vote at the lengthy meeting.

Four separate budgets had been proposed, but after a tied vote following abstentions and council leader Ronnie Nicholson declining to use his casting vote, the decision was made by cutting a pack of cards.

The council say the savings are needed to bridge a gap in funding as a result of a 4.5% cut in the council's grant by the Scottish Government.

“There is no doubt that making £21.193m of cuts to our Council’s budget was a sad day for Dumfries and Galloway.

"The cuts by the Scottish Government are the single biggest attack on local services for a generation. You cannot save in one year £21.1m without impacting on services and these proposals are still very tough. What makes me so angry about having to make these cuts is the fact that the UK Government’s grant to the Scottish Government has actually risen by 0.6% this year but the Scottish Government have still chosen to go ahead with slashing council budgets. They could and should have been avoided by the Scottish Government”

– Councillor Ronnie Nicholson, Leader, Dumfries and Galloway Council

Amongst the proposals rejected by Labour were cuts to winter gritting primary routes, the scrapping of a Taxicard scheme for the elderly and disabled, the scrapping of the gull control scheme and proposals to scrap Instrumental Music Instruction.

The budget also rejected proposals to close a number of leisure facilities such as Hillview Leisure centre, Beechgrove sports Centre, Newington Leisure Center and Castle Douglas Swimming pool.

However, the leader of the SNP Group at Dumfries and Galloway Council accused the Labour Administration of “robbing bairns’ piggy banks”.

“This budget will see Teachers removed from Nursery classes and other childcare providers facing a gloomy year ahead as their contracts have been shrunk or in some cases may disappear altogether”.

“The move to bring children currently in out of region placements in a variety of nationally acclaimed care settings back into Dumfries & Galloway should be supported but at a more modest pace. When you add in this Administration’s cuts to the cleaning budget in schools, despite head teachers’ concerns, and the branding of youngsters leaving the care system or in the Youth Justice system by introducing an easily identifiable pre paid card system.

"Shockingly, they will be the only children in Dumfries & Galloway with a type of pre-paid card to present for bus travel and other services and as such easily identified”.

– Andy Ferguson, Leader of the SNP Group on Dumfries & Galloway Council
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