Budget aims to reduce council debt

NORTH Tyneside Council staff are to be asked to work one hour less a week as part of a range of proposals to cut the authority’s growing debts.

Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors joined forces at last week’s full council meeting to vote through alternative budget proposals for the coming financial year.

Borough mayor Linda Arkley’s spending plans were rejected in favour of putting several projects on hold to save money.

The Labour-Lib Dem alternative budget proposes reducing the council’s debt burden – up from £300m three years ago to £512m – by asking council staff to work one hour less a week.

That would mean they face losing out on half a day’s pay every month – equivalent to over a week’s wages a year.

The council’s biggest earners, those on salaries of more than £50,000 a year, are also being asked to take a voluntary ten per cent cut.

Council tax would be frozen at current levels.

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