City Council agrees £100m cuts

Newcastle city councillors have approved a package of cuts which will save 100 million pounds over the next three years.

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Newcastle city council agrees cuts of £100m

Newcastle city councillors have approved a package of cuts which will save £100m over the next three years.

The savings were agreed after a highly charged debate which lasted almost five hours.

Protests took place outside the Civic Centre before the meeting of the full council.

Such was the interest in the debate that a room was set aside, complete with a large screen, for people to watch proceedings in the council chamber.

Ten amendments to the budget were put forward by the opposition Liberal Democrats but they were defeated.

The cutbacks will include the closure of the city pool and some libraries. Two respite centres, which were originally under threat, were granted a temporary reprieve last month after consultations with local people.

After the meeting, we spoke to the council leader Nick Forbes:


Protesters gather outside Newcastle's civic centre

Protesters are gathering outside of Newcastle Civic Centre ahead of the final budget talks taking place at Newcastle City Council tonight.

Protesters at Newcastle Civic Centre Credit: ITV News
Protesters show their support for libraries proposed to be closed under the new budget plans Credit: ITV News
Hundreds are expected to attend tonight's final meeting Credit: ITV News
Protesters say 'no' to proposed council cuts Credit: ITV News

What the politicians are saying

Politicians have spoken out about the proposed cuts. Here is a selection of views

The scale and unfair nature of the Government cuts that the council is facing is eye watering. That is why we have set out to be open and honest about what the Government’s austerity programme means in practice, and why we are looking three years ahead at the impact of the cuts we will have to implement.

– Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader Newcastle City Council

What we can say is that it is no surprise to me that having faced three years of cuts so far, that this Government continues to ignore the needs of Sunderland and its communities by further cuts to budgets that pay for vital services.

– Cllr Paul Watson, Leader Sunderland City Council

Cllr David Faulkner, leader of the Lib Dem Group, on Newcastle City Council says the council has "united a city against their decisions" and questioned how they can ignore thousands of people who had signed petitions and carry on shutting facilities.

Leader of the opposition Conservative group in Sunderland meanwhile, Robert Oliver, says the Government settlement for the city is four times more than local authorities in prosperous areas.

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