AGREEMENTS have been made for a balanced budget and to maintain commitments to invest in key services for people in the county, which includes a council tax increase.

At the full council meeting yesterday, Cumbria County councillors agreed:

n A general increase of council tax by 1.99 per cent for 2020/21;

n An additional percept for adult social care of two per cent for 2020/21;

n The medium term financial plan for 2020 to 2025.

Deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, Councillor Peter Thornton, said: “Yet again Cumbria has risen to the challenge and we have done this despite ongoing national funding pressure.

“Despite some significant challenges we have successfully delivered a balanced budget and more than that we are continuing to invest in essential services such as new care homes, support for new extra care housing developments, investing in thousands of new LED streetlights and maintaining a road network that is larger than the network maintained by Highways England.

“This demonstrates how hard this council is working to help protect the vulnerable and those in need, whilst ensuring that any increases are kept to a minimum for everyone.

“This council prides itself on providing value for money and key to us being able to do that is our transformation journey and new ways of working. In the coming years we have ambitious plans to change the way we deliver services and this clearly demonstrates our competency at providing effective services within the money we have available.”

Over the period 2011-2020 councillors already agreed savings of £272.2m.