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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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Council's campaign to support staff suffering domestic abuse

Newcastle City Council launches campaign to help staff who are suffering domestic abuse. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Newcastle City Council has launched a strategy to support staff who are suffering domestic abuse.

The council wants its managers to recognise the problem among colleagues and offer help. It is estimated that one in 10 working people suffers abuse.

The aim is to make the workplace a safe haven from violence suffered at home.

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City Council blocks access to payday loans companies

Newcastle City Council has become one of the first in the country to block access to the websites of payday loans companies via its own computer system. The council is also planning to try to stop the lenders advertising on some billboards in the city.

However, not everyone is against the loans companies - a survey by uSwitch found half of people who had taken out a payday loan found it a positive experience.

Gregg Easteal reports.

Council blocks payday loans company websites

Newcastle City Council has blocked access to the websites of payday loans companies across its entire computer network, including offices, libraries and council-owned community centres. It is also looking at how to prevent them advertising on some billboards in the city.

The companies promise very quick, short-term loans, but come with high interest rates and penalty charges Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

However, a survey published by uSwitch found 50% of people who had taken out a payday loan found it a positive experience. Almost a third would take out another loan.

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