Council to save £13m next year

Newcastle 2020: Investing in a fairer future - One year on
Newcastle 2020: Investing in a fairer future - One year on

Newcastle City Council will have to save more than £13m next year and raise council tax in order to set a balanced budget.

This means our city will have lost £282 million by 2020. 

How the money could be saved is set out in a series of proposals in the report, Newcastle 2020: Investing in a fairer future – One year on, now available on the council’s website at: www.newcastle.gov.uk/budget

The public have until 7 January 2018 to comment on the proposals.

The draft budget is the second of a three-year plan that the council published last year.

It proposes a 1.95 per cent rise in council tax and three per cent rise in the Government’s social care precept which is used to pay for social care.

About 40 full-time jobs will go – many of them vacancies – although the council will work closely with the trade unions to try and avoid compulsory redundancies.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes, said: “For the last seven years we have suffered some of the highest cuts in the country, and sadly next year will be no different.

“We are an ambitious council. Our transformation of services and good financial stewardship have helped minimise the impact, but Government cuts are such that the decisions we have to make will still be very painful.

“Add to that the uncertainty of Brexit, public sector pay and the misery of welfare reform and it’s not hard to see why so many people are worried about the future.

“We will secure the future of services and facilities by exploring new models of delivery such as shared services; a charitable trust for our parks and investing in new affordable housing.

“The future will be tough, but we have a plan, and ambitions to unlock new investment through devolution which will keep the city in a strong position.”

In order to meet its savings of £13.3m the council proposes to, among other things:

  • Cut its contribution to Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums by £150,000
  • Increase garden waste charges from £1 to £2 per collection
  • Reduce its contribution to Newcastle Gateshead Initiative by £40,000
  • Save £2.6m by developing new ways of caring for adults with complex needs

However, it will continue to invest in the city with an ambitious £380m capital investment programme which will see:

The construction of 1,000 affordable new homes

150 specialist homes for older people and those with disabilities and complex needs

A new centre in West Denton for people with learning disabilities and/or autism to support people currently living outside the city

Shared services to deliver savings on electronic transactions

Hosting major events such as the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018 which will give a huge economic boost to the economy

A post consultation budget report detailing feedback will be presented to Cabinet on 19 February 2018 for consideration. Council meets on 7 March 2018 to debate and set the budget.