Protecting our key services

Norma Redfearn, North Tyneside Mayor.
Norma Redfearn, North Tyneside Mayor.

Last month, North Tyneside Council agreed a budget for 2018/19 to protect essential services while saving more than £10m over the next year.

It was not easy, and we were forced to make some tough choices again in the face of the continued reduction in central government grant and rising demand for our services.

We, like most other councils in the country, were forced to increase council tax to protect the long-term financial stability of the authority.

It means that almost two-thirds of the extra money from council tax will go directly into frontline services that provide social care for the elderly and vulnerable adults.

Savings of £6m will be made by re-organising how the council does things, making sure it works better for local people.

A further £1.5m will be saved by improving procurement processes and offering residents more opportunities to do things themselves.

As central government funding for weekly bin collections has now ended, we will be moving to alternative weekly collections.

This reflects residents’ priorities to do more recycling and send less waste to landfill.

All 14 of the borough’s libraries will stay open, but with reduced opening hours, based on currently levels of activity.

In the spring, we will be speaking to people who want to get more involved in helping to deliver library services.

North Tyneside has a strong track record of high educational attainment, excellent business support and its award-winning environment.

This budget will help us to maintain those high standards, protect the council’s long-term financial stability, and make sure the borough continues to be a great place to live, work and visit.