Carlisle City Council set its budget for 2015/2016 at a Special Full Council meeting last night.
The Leader of the Council Colin Glover proposed the Executive’s budget, which was seconded by Councillor Les Tickner.
The council needs to make a saving of £1,211,000 in 2015/16 and £663,000 of this has already been achieved.
The following was agreed in the budget:
- ·Council tax has been frozen
- £0.5million for the Harraby School and Community Project
- · £390,000 for the Old Town Hall and Greenmarket improvements
- · £20,000 contribution for a proposed Sexual Assault Referral Centre
- · Car park charges have been frozen and in some cases car parking charges have decreased.
- · £114,000 has been allocated for the next two years towards the continuation of a rapid response team to keep Carlisle clean.
The council says it has had to make difficult decisions.
Pete Moran, from the Cumbria Law Centre, has warned that dangerous levels of rent arrears and people struggling to get into housing are problems contributing to homelessness in Carlisle.
Although the homeless figure in Carlisle has remained steady for the last six years, the Cumbria Law Centre says more and more people are being pushed to the edge.
Homelessness is defined as not having a permanent roof, and about 1200 people fall into this category each year.
More than a third of all homeless people in Carlisle are aged between 16 and 24, and the charity argues that the problem is that they can't get into housing in the first place.
Carlisle City Council is currently working with local charities to finalise its plans to reduce homelessness. It will focus on the prevention of homelessness.
Councillors in Carlisle are discussing how to tackle homelessness in the city.
For the last six years, twelve hundred people have contacted the authorities for housing advice annually.
An average of 35 percent of those homeless in Carlisle are young people aged between 16 and 25.
Some of the causes of homelessness cited are:
- relationship breakdown (29%)
- loss of rented accommodation (22%).
Councillors in Carlisle will meet today to discuss the issue of homelessness in the city and how it can be tackled over the next five years.
The council claims that all key priorities outlined within Carlisle’s homelessness strategy for 2008-2013 were achieved.
Although the number of people sleeping on the streets is relatively low, the council believes that many people are forced to stay on friend's sofas.
It says housing provision in the city over the coming years will be an important factor in addressing homelessness.
The high rate of sickness among staff at Carlisle City Council is under the spotlight today.
The local authority will meet this morning to discuss why the number of people taking time off has gone up by more than a quarter since this time last year.
Stress and depression are said to be factors.
Public consultation starts today on the future of Carlisle's Rickergate area.
One proposal includes the demolition of the Civic Centre to make way for a new shopping centre.
It's a proposal under consideration by the city council as part of a local plan for development in the city centre.
The transformation is part of a number of developments that could be made across Carlisle up until 2030.
Carlisle City Council will consider plans tomorrow which would see the civic centre being knocked in favour of a two hundred thousand square foot shopping development.
The proposal is just one of many under discussion for the future of the city.
Jane Meek, Director for development at Carlisle City Council spoke to ITV Border.
Carlisle's Civic Centre could be knocked down as the city council have announced plans to build a new shopping development in its place. It's just one of the proposals being put forward for consultation tomorrow by the council try to breathe new life into the area.