A piece of Newcastle’s heritage is going to be sold to help plug a multi-million funding gap.
The Lord Mayor's official coach, which has been pulled through the streets of the city for more than 200 years is valued at £80,000 and will go towards filling a £90 million gap.
It is a decision the council says it is doing “reluctantly” after “cuts in Government grant and rising cost pressures”.
The council says it has endured two years of Government cuts with another three to come. It says any money raised will be classed as a capital receipt and used for newcapital investment in the city such as highways and schools.
"We are looking at all ways of raising money. It gives me no pleasure whatsoever tosell off the Lord Mayor's coach to the highest bidder - but our financialsituation leaves us with no room for sentimentality.
"As a council we have a duty to helpfamilies who are suffering. In order todo that, we now have to sell off the family silver.
"As leader of this council I will alwaysput people before objects. If the coach raises money that will help us to avoidcuts to services that people need then I make no apologies for that."
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The officer was blasted twice by gunman Raoul Moat who had declared war on police minutes before.
Labour's Anna Turley said ministers should have stepped in to stop the "hard closure" from going ahead.
His Excellency Mr Ranjan Mathai visited the 197-year old HMS Trincomalee, which celebrates its bicentenary in 2017.