By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News, Seattle
By Dominic Packer & Jay Van Bavel
Professors of psychology
Jackson Carlaw has been named the new leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
In case you missed it, Cumbria county council set its budget and the increase in its share of council tax this year, yesterday.Copyright: BBC
The council's net budget, after fees and other charges are taken into account, is just over £400m a year, and most now comes from council tax after a steady reduction in central government grants since 2010.
This year's county council tax increase is just under 4%, of which half is ring-fenced for adult social care, and which amounts to £55 a year on a Band D property.
But the political debate centred on just £4.5m being set aside in each of the next few years, in case of inflation associated with Britain's departure from the European Union.
Conservative opposition leader James Airey said it was a party political slush fund, while the Liberal Democrat Peter Thornton (pictured speaking, above) said it was simply prudent.Quote Message: They're going to squirrel away £22m of taxpayer's money to spend on some grandiose scheme, no doubt when we come up to election time." from James AireyQuote Message: This 1% isn't being spent unless it's needed, unlike the hundred and hundreds of millions the government has spent and frankly wasted so far on preparations for Brexit." from Peter Thornton
Leila Nathoo looks back at the day in politics, as the PM's reshuffle went further than even he perhaps expected.
Political reporter, BBC Cumbria
The Labour leader of Cumbria County Council has defended allocating 1% of the council's budget for each of the next five years in case leaving the EU causes a hike in inflation.Copyright: BBC
Council budget papers discussed today take into account that inflation may rise after Brexit, adding £4.5m or a little under 1% to its spending plans in each of the next five years, and the report also warns of economic disruption.
Replying to Conservative opposition accusations of scare-mongering, Councillor Young said the extra money built in for Brexit is “not an unreasonable figure” bearing in mind warnings from government about checks at the border that could push up prices in the economy
The authority will raise its share of council tax by nearly 4%, of which 2% is for adult social care, and make another £5.5m of savings, with a net revenue budget of just over £400m.
The typical Band D council tax will rise by £55.28 a year, plus any increases for the police, district and borough councils, and parish councils.
By Tom Espiner
Business reporter, BBC News
Political reporter, BBC Cumbria
Conservative county councillors have described a move by the Labour and Liberal Democrats who run the authority to set money aside in case leaving the EU causes inflation as a “bizarre Brexit slush fund”.Copyright: BBC
Peter Thornton, who is in charge of finance, presented the budget for the coming financial year at a meeting in Kendal today, and included an allowance of £4.5m, around 1% of the overall expenditure, to cover inflation.
James Airey, who leads the Conservative opposition, said the money would be better spent on services.
Before the meeting, the council's Labour leader Stewart Young said "great uncertainty" still remained because the UK's trading relationship with the EU had still to be agreed.
By David Shukman