Council chiefs have vowed to prioritise spending as they look to make near £50m savings over the next three years.
The controlling Labour group on North Tyneside Council has outlined its draft budget proposals for 2015-16 which sees education, jobs, housing and regeneration again among the top priorities.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said the ‘Creating a Brighter Future’ programme is designed to meet the key challenges facing the council, including delivering between £40m and £46m of savings over the next three years – with £14.245m required in 2015-16.
The authority is also facing financial pressures in adult and children’s social care, with both the costly services seeing an increase in demand.
Mrs Redfearn said: “The challenges we face as a local authority are huge and I have listened very carefully to residents who have told us what their priorities are, so we target resources where needed and made sure that we make every pound count when we spend it.
“Therefore we will be focusing spending on ensuring our children are ready for school, making sure our young people and adults are ready for work, protecting vulnerable people so they are cared for, safeguarded and healthy, and delivering a borough that is a great place to live, work and visit.
“Through our plans we will be taking very clear and decisive action to make sure that, despite the massive cuts, we will continue to invest in the borough’s future as well as being a council that offers value for money for local people.”
She added: “We will deliver the things that our residents have told us matter most to them – keeping the streets and our open spaces clean and safe, protecting the vulnerable and providing excellent schools, creating more jobs and ensuring that people have the skills they need to get these jobs.
“We will also deliver a multi-million pound investment programme to regenerate key areas across the borough – Whitley Bay’s Spanish City Dome and seafront, the former Swan Hunter site in Wallsend, 3,000 new affordable homes in the next ten years and the North Tyneside Living scheme to provide top quality new sheltered homes for 900 of our older residents.”
Among the proposals to help save money are to reduce management costs by £2m, lower energy consumption, make better use of technology, and integrate more with the NHS on health and social care services.
Mrs Redfearn said: “This is a budget developed for residents and it is a budget shaped by residents
“We have set out clear plans to address the challenges we face, invest in the borough’s future and continue to provide an excellent range of value for money services.”
Residents can provide their feedback on the proposals until the end of January via www.northtyneside.gov.uk