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Council leader responds to cuts protest

"The Government sets the general direction on spending and has been very clear since 2010 that they would make large public sector funding cuts.

They set the level of funding that we receive and we have to operate within our budget. If we didn’t, it would not be a legal budget and decision-making would be taken away from local people and their elected representatives.

The majority of savings we are making this year are coming from back office functions and we continue to try to safeguard frontline services as much as possible.”

– Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council

Anti cuts protestors greet councillors arriving at headquarters ahead of Durham budget

Protestors outside Durham County Hall Credit: ITV News

An anti-cuts protest greeted councillors arriving at Durham Council's headquarters to set the authority's budget for 2014-2015.

Durham County Council are voting on its 2014/2015 budget on with the ruling Labour group proposing a 1.99% council tax rise and £23m of cuts.

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Council faces £130m funding cut

Northumberland County Council faces the prospect of having to cut spending by £130m over the next four years.

It comes after Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles published new figures as part of the Local Government Finances Settlement announced today.

Councils face an average cut of 2.9% across the country.

Some authorities in the North East will see their budgets cut by an even bigger proportion.

“Local government is facing unprecedented financial pressure as the Government focusses its public sector expenditure reduction upon councils. The provisional settlement confirms the government’s intention to significantly reduce grant funding, which will unfortunately adversely impact upon local service delivery. The council faces the prospect of having to cut £130 million over the next four years, with cuts of around £32 million next year_.”

– Cllr Dave Ledger, deputy leader Northumberland County Council

Council funding cuts confirmed

Councils across the region were told today the extent of overall cuts to funding for 2014/15.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles published the figures which showed an average cut of 2.9% across the country.

A spokesman for Newcastle Council said they were facing an overall cut to spending of 4.6% - more than ten million pounds - but that the news was what they expected.

Middlesbrough Council is facing a reduction of more than 5%.

Funding cuts to both councils are well above the national average.

ITV News Tyne Tees contacted all of our region's councils about the figures but many said it was too early to tell what the cuts meant for them.

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