Newcastle City Council today published a report on the implications of the recent Government grant announcement for the next two years.
The report reveals that the grant cuts are broadly in line with expectations next year, but are around £10m higher than expected from 2014/15 onwards. This means that savings of £100m per year are likely to be needed in three years' time - more than previously declared.
The need to find an extra £10m is entirely due to further cuts in Government grant following the autumn statement and the higher level of cuts for the poorest and most deprived areas announced in the local government finance settlement for 2013/14 and in the 2014/15 provisional settlement in particular.
The council’s on-going consultation with residents until February on £90m of cuts proposals will continue as planned, but the authority will now need to find further efficiency savings for the second and third years of its budget.
The City Council is due to debate the latest Government settlement next Wednesday (January 9) and how it plans to respond.
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Coun Nick Forbes, said: “We face massive financial challenges which have just got bigger following further announcements of Government cuts.
“I have written to the Prime Minister to warn him that the northern cities with higher levels of deprivation are being most severely hit by the Government’s austerity programme - but I fear that they are not listening.
“We intend to lobby harder and do what is best for the people of this city.”
A slight increase in the grant cut next year should be able to be managed without the need for even more cuts in services in 2013/14, but for 2014/15 the council will need to save another £10m.
The council will continue to lobby the Government hard until the result of the consultation is known at the end of January or early February.
The leader of the Council is due to meet the Minister for Local Government on Thursday 10 January and our written submission will be made by the closing date for the consultation of January 15.
To view the report go to: http://democracy.newcastle.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=13222&T=9
Page last updated: 4 January, 2013