Newcastle residents anxious over state of public services

A survey of residents commissioned by Newcastle City Council has highlighted increasing concerns over the state of public services, following years of austerity funding cuts to services provided by the council.

It is predicted that government funding to the city will have fallen by £282 million by 2020, which equates to £268 per person in Newcastle, compared to an average of £131 per person in England.

Despite 76 per cent of residents in the survey being satisfied with Newcastle as a place to live, 22 per cent feel their financial circumstances will get worse over the next 12 months, whilst there was also a six per cent drop in the numbers of residents who are satisfied with their affordability.

Furthermore, there was a 13 per cent increase in the number of residents reporting rubbish or litter as a problem and a nine per cent fall in resident satisfaction with the cleanliness of Newcastle’s streets. An additional 44 per cent of residents reported being dissatisfied with the state of Newcastle’s roads and pavements.

Veronica Dunn, cabinet member for Resources, said: “Since the start of austerity, Newcastle Council has warned of the damage caused by unfair and disproportionate cuts. The council has played a key role in national lobbying efforts to stand up to austerity, and will continue to challenge this government on the need to invest in our services.

“There are many positives in the Survey findings and it is gratifying to see that 73 per cent agree that their local community is one where people from different backgrounds get on well together. However, the sheer scale of the cuts makes it impossible for the council to deliver the same level of services – and it is no surprise that the proportion of residents who feel they are getting good value for money is falling.

“We are doing our very best to minimise the impacts of the funding cuts on the city, particularly for our most vulnerable communities. However, it is clear that many people are feeling real change in the way that the council is able provide services and this is causing increasing dissatisfaction. Listening to public concerns and responding to need is more important than ever in these challenging times and that is exactly what we will be doing as a council.”

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