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Council keen to hear opinions on cuts proposals

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, says any proposals to reduce services are still subject to a public consultation. One of the areas being looked at is the Sure Start scheme, which triggered a protest in the city today.

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Support for 'vital service' in Newcastle

A protest march was held in Newcastle today to oppose any cuts to a support and advice service for parents in the city. The Sure Start scheme is being reviewed by the city council as part of plans to reduce spending.

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

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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.

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
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