Cumbria County Council agrees budget cut and tax freeze

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Cumbria County Council will freeze council tax for the third consecutive year as it attempts to cut millions of pounds from its budget.

The authority has agreed to accept a grant from government to prevent a rates rise.

Cuts totalling £24.5m were confirmed when councillors met to agree spending plans for 2013/14 at County Hall in Kendal earlier.

The council said "efficiency savings" would be made across the organisation.

Jobs will be lost in the highways department and funding for careers advice services will be reduced over the next two years.

Funds have been set aside to cover a 1% pay increase for council staff.

Deputy council leader Stewart Young said: "Whilst any move to help hard pressed council taxpayers through freezing council tax is to be welcomed, let us be clear that this is ultimately being paid for by reductions in services."

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