Northumberland County Council has sent out hundreds of letters to its staff and councillors to begin discussions on whether to allow more private companies to run its services.
The council has to save another £70m over the next three to four years.
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A look ahead at a lively start to the weekend
2,000 children from more than 100 primary schools flocked to Sandhaven at South Shields for the annual Sandcastle Challenge.
Sunderland is set to welcome the world famous Tall Ships race in July 2018. Now, it has been given the honour of starting the race.