£60m savings outlined by Newcastle County Council

Newcastle City Council has detailed proposals on how it plans to save £60 million to set balanced budgets over the next three years.

The proposals state how the authority will bridge the £20 million gap next year and broad proposals for years two and three, proposing a council tax rise of 2.95 per cent and implementing the government’s one per cent Adult Social Care Precept, meaning an extra 3.95 per cent rise in bills for residents.

Additionally, the plans detail some more controversial measures, including 100 jobs losses over the next three years, charge for replacing general waste and recycling wheelie bins, closing the City Library at 5pm three days a week and not opening on Sundays and charging Blue Badge holders for parking in multi-storeys and off-street car parks.

To raise income for when government funding ceases altogether after 2020, the council is looking to increase income from renting out more office space at the Civic Centre, increase council tax on empty properties in line with legislation and increase income through selling advertising and sponsorship including bridge banners and large format digital advertising.

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “The Prime Minister has announced the end of austerity but there are still big cuts to local government to come. The savings we will have to make over the next three years will bite deeper into the vital services people depend upon. Although the challenges we face are huge, I am confident that if our partners and communities continue to work with us we can overcome them. We have shown time and time again that our city comes together in times of crisis and great stress.

“Despite austerity, Newcastle is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. More and more people are choosing to live here and with capital investment from the council and our private sector partners, not to mention our ambitious Devolution deal, the city can face the future with confidence.”

The £60 million figure brings the total amount of money the authority will have saved since 2010 to £327 million due to the government’s austerity measures.

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