Spending cuts are a challenge

Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn.  Picture by Jane Coltman
Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn. Picture by Jane Coltman

As elected Mayor of North Tyneside I am committed to protecting our most vulnerable residents and safeguarding the services that you tell me are most important to you and your family.

You will be aware from reports in the national and local media that councils across the country have started the difficult task of setting their budgets for the next financial year.

This is against a background of having to deal with the increasing demand for services, including adult social care, vulnerable children and the introduction of the national living wage, while at the same time having huge reductions in our grants from the Conservative government.

For North Tyneside this means that next year we will have to find more than £18m in savings as part of a funding gap of £41m over the next two years.

Cuts of this magnitude make it increasingly difficult to protect the most vulnerable people in our community, while at the same time maintaining our high-quality services, including investments in roads and pavements, leisure services and environmental services.

However, I am clear that we can rise to this challenge.

Over the next few months I will be working hard with officers, councillors and our partners to achieve these savings.

I will also ensure that residents get the opportunity to be involved in the discussion of how we meet this challenge. There will be a series of engagement events across the borough to explain the position and listen to your views on our priorities.