Copeland Council has seen a 99 per cent cut in Government funding in the last five years as austerity continues to bite.

An investigation into the impact of swingeing cuts has shown that funding to the authority has been slashed from £3.3million in 2015 to just £30,000 in 2020.

The figures, confirmed by the council, have sparked outrage with residents shocked at the scale of the reduction.

Labour, which launched the investigation, blasted Copeland’s Conservative MP Trudy Harrison for voting with the Government to cut support for councils by 28 per cent in 2018 and 56 per cent in 2019.

But Mrs Harrison hit back at her critics, pointing to investment in the region by the Conservative investment in the region as well as historic financial mismanagement under Labour.

She was responding to criticism from Tony Lywood, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Copeland, and Mike McVeigh, the party’s group leader on Copeland Council.

Mr Lywood said: “Continued government austerity imposed upon our communities is having a devastating impact on local services, and the worse is yet to come.

“You cannot keep dramatically cutting council and public service budgets without eventual harm to citizens.

“And yet again Mrs Harrison has supported these cuts in Parliament without flinching.

“I don’t think there has ever been a Tory cut Mrs Harrison has opposed. It makes a mockery of her talk about supporting the community.”

Mr McVeigh described the figures as truly shocking, adding: “At the council we are working very hard to reduce the impact of these cuts on front line services, but a cut of over 95 per cent to our funds from central government is a truly shocking indictment on the current government and our current MP, Mrs Harrison, who supports this austerity agenda.

“Mrs Harrison likes to talk about ‘working together; but it is a shame that when Mrs Harrison goes to Westminster she seems to forget all about us and votes for more cuts for Copeland.”

The reduction in the Revenue Support Grant – the only source of central government funding for the borough – works out at a cut of between 98 per cent and 99 per cent.

However, the council said it had managed to offset some of the reduction through increased income from business rates and council tax as well as through its “commercialisation agenda”.

Mrs Harrison stressed that Britain had seen the deficit soar to a post-war record following the financial crisis over a decade ago.

She added: “Councils across UK have had to deal with austerity, affecting both public and private sectors.

“Only last year, it was revealed our previously Labour-controlled Copeland had a black hole of £13m in their pre-2015 accounts, demonstrating how Copeland residents were badly let down.

“Now, our economy continues to grow, with wages increasing and economy at a historic low, providing a solid foundation on which to build Britain’s economic future. With Government investing in our area’s future with new schools and a hospital, as well as the High Street and Coastal Communities funds helping economic regeneration to flourish, we have incredible exciting times ahead, and I am working hard to ensure that Copeland becomes the best place to live, work and visit by tackling the challenges that lie before us.”

Copeland has some of the most deprived areas in England, including the wards of Sandwith, Mirehouse, Harbour and Cleator Moor South.