Serious budget discussions lie ahead for us

It’s been a fantastic summer of fun here in North Tyneside with lots of brilliant events taking place across the borough.

The Mouth of the Tyne Festival was a stunning success, while the Spanish City Plaza and Dome had lots of amazing things to do, and our fabulous libraries, parks, beaches and open spaces were packed.

I was one of the 10,000 visitors who enjoyed the family fun day at the beautifully restored Northumberland Park, and also one of 4,000 people who took a ride along Whitley Bay prom on the Land Train.

This has been a good holiday, but unfortunately the council now has to get down to business with some serious discussions about the budget. We’ve made no secret of the fact that 2016 is going to be a very difficult year.

Because of recent decisions by the government, the level of cuts that we have to find over the next three years is more than £53m. This is on top of the £43m we have already saved in the past two years.

The council is financially well managed and changes have been made that protected many services. However, these latest government announcements will inevitably have a huge impact.

We’re having to examine every area of what we do, look at how we deliver it and how we might do it in the future.

In the coming weeks and months we will be consulting widely and asking for your views as these will be integral in shaping the final outcomes.