Tyne & Wear Museums may have to cut opening hours to the Discovery Museum and the Laing Gallery, reduce its community learning programme, and charge for some services, because of a proposed reduction in its funding from Newcastle Council.
The council is removing all its funding of the Great North Museum (formerly the Hancock) and the Hatton Gallery over the next two years, and halving its funding of the Discovery Museum, Laing Gallery and Tyne & Wear Archives, all because of budget cuts.
The museums service will open a consultation on February 1st but says it will not start charging for entry to its core collections.
Lee Hall calls for "direct action" to save Newcastle libraries
by Lucy Taylor
He made his name through his writing, as the creator of Billy Elliot, but Lee Hall indicated he is ready to move from words to actions to save ten Newcastle libraries earmarked for closure.
The playwright had people on their feet at a campaign meeting when he called for protesters to occupy libraries.
However, the council says it simply cannot afford to keep the libraries going, because of budget cuts.
Meanwhile in Middlesbrough, councillors discussed whether they can afford to freeze council tax. The mayor Ray Mallon opposes the proposal, saying it would leave a black hole in the council's finances.
Campaigners lobbied the council to save two respite care centres in Newcastle. Cheviot View offers short stays to disabled children and Castle Dene does the same for disabled adults, to give their carers a break.
The council is seeking a cheaper alternative, which may include transferring the services to a private company or charity.
Full Report: Protests over proposals to close libraries
Writers and residents will gather in Newcastle city centre tonight to protest about the closure of ten libraries.
The council says that ninety per cent of people will still be one mile and a half from a library, but today our Education correspondent Dan Ashby visited Dinnington, where people told him that the library is integral to the community.
Middlesbrough Council meets to debate council cuts
Middlesbrough Council will tonight debate whether to freeze council tax in the town, a proposal which is expected to be rejected on the grounds that it must already save 13 million pounds from its budget this year.
The council is also looking at reducing a further 2.4 million pounds in the coming financial year.