Hundreds have a say on spending

MORE than 550 people responded to an online survey on where they felt Northumberland County Council’s spending priorities should lie.

Questions and discussion centred around the council’s seven strategic priorities - cleaning and greening; affordable housing; schools, children and families; older people; our economy; connectivity and organisational efficiency.

The authority will have to make £45million of budget savings over the coming financial year, following on the back of £50million savings that have been made over the previous two years.

The authority has also been speaking to youth, business, minority and disability groups and to community forums, parish and town councils. The Northumberland people’s panel of 1,100 residents across the county has also been consulted about spending priorities while work shops and focus groups have been held to discuss issues in greater depth.

Council leader Jeff Reid said: “We are committed to putting our customers at the heart of what we do and with some tough spending decisions ahead, councillors have been keen to understand residents’ views on local services.

“We will always listen to your comments and suggestions and where we can use this information to improve our services.Thank you to everyone who took the time to share with us their views. They will be considered very carefully.”

The final budget will be set at a meeting of full council at the end of February.