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'Painful decisions' over cuts to be made in Gateshead

Gateshead Civic Centre Credit: Gateshead Council

Gateshead Council will finalise cuts today at a meeting of the full council.

If ratified, 193 jobs will be cut, bringing the total to almost 2,000 job losses in the last 5 years, and £20 a year will be added to council tax bills for most households.

The authority has lost nearly half its funding from central Government, and says its making painful decisions to try to protect services.

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Protesters to march against Gateshead Council cuts

A march in Gateshead is taking place to protest against cuts to the council's budget this afternoon, February 7.

Organisers the Public Services Alliance are calling for protection of public sector jobs and better protection of threatened services including libraries, leisure centres, older people's services and mental health services.

Gateshead Council's leader Mick Henry is required to make £46m worth of savings over the next two years.

There will be speeches from Labour politicians, Dave Anderson MP for Blaydon, Stephen Hepburn MP for Jarrow and Ian Mearns MP for Gateshead.

This is the first march against cuts in Gateshead.

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North East to receive least from government regional growth funds

The North East is set to receive the least from the latest round investments in the form of regional growth funds.

The government has announced today our region is to get over £40 million between 2016 and 2021, which is the smallest sum of any of the English regions.

The Deputy Prime Minister says its down to which local companies bid for the funds:

In total the government is investing £1 billion in local economies across England as an expansion of their regional growth funds deal.

There aim is to pass funding from the central government into the hands of local authorities, businesses and universities, who they believe can invest with inside knowledge of what is needed in their area.

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