Northumberland County Council aims to save Â£6m in next budget
An increase in council tax payments and more loans have helped council leaders reduce the amount of savings needed in their budget.
Northumberland County Council says its proposed budget for 2017/18 will continue to protect frontline services and promote growth despite facing further cuts of £36million over the next three years – with £6million next year.
The authority has reduced the savings needed by £10million up to 2020 due to a combination of increased income from council tax receipts linked to economic growth and housing development and increased income from third party loans.
Savings have also been made with changes to services, including relocating some libraries into leisure centres.
The council is continuing its £381million capital programme, including proposed investment in new schools and leisure centres, increased parking provision and development of the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Line.
Council leader Grant Davey said: “Each year the setting of our budget becomes more challenging as our funding settlement from central government cuts ever deeper.
“We have had significant reductions in comparison with the England and regional average.”
“However we are living in different times now and need to think differently - we are doing all we can to maintain vital frontline services; investing in town centres generating jobs in the county, improving education and providing affordable housing.
“There are a number of exciting developments planned across Northumberland as we continue to find innovative ways of doing business, generating sound returns for all residents as well as the council and making a great county even better.”
The budget and medium term financial plan will be presented to the council’s Cabinet on February 7 before recommendations are made to full council on February 22.