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Eden District Council’s Executive agrees on budget

Eden District Council is considering a 1.99% in Council Tax Credit: ItV

Last night, Eden District Council’s Executive agreed a budget to recommend to Council.

It follows a period of consultation on the draft budget.

There are no proposals to reduce services, although a 1.99% rise in Council Tax is being considered, which would be an increase of £3.61 a year.

“We are considering a Council Tax increase of a modest 1.99%. The effect on households will be an increase of 7p per week.

"We have frozen our car parking charges. We did freeze our Council Tax for a number of years. If we do not increase our Council Tax in-line with inflation it will be difficult to maintain our existing services in future years".

– Cllr Gordon Nicolson


Cumbria Chamber of Commerce reaction to Budget

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce have reacted to today's Budget announcement.

"While the economy is clearly recovering, there is an ongoing concern that this is not a robust recovery, but one based on consumer spending rather than on a strong base of business investment and exports.

Alongside this, interest rates are low and inflation has been continually outstripping wages and low interest rates, limiting sustainable consumer spending.

"So as a Chamber we were pushing ahead of today's budget for support for business investment, export growth and investment in skills.

In particular we were looking for help for businesses to take on, train and invest in young people."

– Rob Johnston, Chief Executive

Some comments on specific measures include:

  • Doubling the number of apprenticeships is particularly important for Cumbrian businesses
  • The announcements on corporation tax were good news but only a reiteration of what was already announced in last year's budget
  • The support for exports is is good news
  • The £7bn package to cut energy costs, for manufacturers in particular, is good news.
  • The cut in beer duty and freezing of duty on spirits is good news for businesses in Cumbria's vibrant tourism and leisure industry
  • Cancellation of the increase planned for September is clearly good news, but this is just cancellation of a planned rise - not a reduction
  • Measures to support further construction and extending help to buy are good news
  • Increases in personal allowances are good news


ITV Border panel discusses the Budget

There was a particular mention for this region, with the Chancellor announcing that the Goverment will continue to fund the Lockerbie Scholarship.

It was set up after the air disaster of 1988 and gives two Lockerbie students the chance to study at Syracuse University in the United States each year.

There was the announcement of VAT relief on the fuel used by air ambulances and inshore rescue teams, which will affect us here.

Tim Backshall watched the budget speech with a panel of Lookaround viewers.

GNAA: 'Budget announcement will save us £25,000 a year'

Air ambulances have VAT on fuel scrapped Credit: GNAA

The Great North Air Ambulance Service, which operates Pride of Cumbria, has welcomed the Government’s decision to relieve air ambulances from the burden of fuel duty. As part of the budget announcement, Chancellor George Osborne announced that air ambulance fuel would no longer be subject to VAT.

The announcement follows a long campaign by supporters of air ambulances in the UK.

Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “We estimate that this move could save the charity around £25,000 a year, enough to pay for ten missions.

"This is clearly a significant contribution and we are grateful to all those people who have worked hard to make this happen, especially the many thousands who signed the online petition which triggered the debate in the first place."

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