- Tyne Tees
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Following last week's announcement by Newcastle City Council of a rolling programme of £90 million in cuts per year, the House of Lords has been debating their impact on culture across Tyneside.
A minister, Viscount Younger, accepted that 'sustained investment' in culture has made Newcastle a centre of culture contributing to the regional economy and the quality of life.
But he added that councils had to reduce their spending.
Viscount Younger said council grants per head of population were significantly higher in the North East than in the South East.
The former leader of Newcastle Council Lord Beecham challenged the minister's version of events, saying the council was being asked to take a disproportionate hit.
Hundreds of people have gathered outside Newcastle Civic Centre to protest against plans for £90 million in cuts to council services.
More than 1,300 jobs could be lost, and many services including swimming pools and libraries would also close as a result.
The protests came as councillors discussed how to make the savings, which amount to around a third of its budget over the next three years.
Protesters are due to voice their concerns today over proposed cuts by Newcastle City Council to make ninety million pounds worth of savings.
The council announced how the cuts would be made last week when it emerged that there would be 1,300 job losses, ten libraries to close and that the City Pool would close - all in a bid to make millions of pounds worth of savings.
The council says that it has to lose the libraries, swimming pools and jobs, amongst other services, after the government reduced its grant.
To see our full coverage on the cuts, you can read more about them here.