North Tyneside Council wants residents' views as it faces prospect of £23.1 million budget gap
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The council is listening to people from the area and giving them the chance to have their say on the budget proposals being discussed for next year.
The proposals outline the current budget position, which has been stretched by years of budget cuts, the continuing recovery from the Covid pandemic, rising energy costs, inflation, and the long-term impact of the war in the Ukraine.
However, despite the pressures the council has a clear approach to making sure anyone who needs support can access it, helping the most vulnerable communities in the borough and continuing investment across the whole of North Tyneside.
The council is facing a budget gap of £23.1 million for the next financial year. The final figure will not be clear until the local government finance settlement is announced in December.
Despite the challenges the council’s proposals do not include any substantial impact to front line services of closures of any facilities and does have increased support packages for any family impacted by the cost-of-living crisis.
The council will continue to invest in the Borough, with the continuation of the North Shields Masterplan, development of a Masterplan for Wallsend and improving our highways network so it supports sustainable, active travel.
Norma Redfearn CBE, North Tyneside Mayor, said: “This budget proposal does not shy away from the fact we have some tough times ahead, however it makes clear that we will continue to do everything we can to support everyone in our Borough that needs help.
“Our North Tyneside Plan has shaped every part of this budget and the proposals are underpinned by our desire to build a better North Tyneside, looking towards a brighter future, listening to and working even better for our residents.
“The cost-of-living crisis is impacting us all and whilst we know there is not a simple solution to providing support, we will do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable residents and to signpost everyone to the help they are entitled to.
“We will do everything we can to see that no family is left behind in our Borough, despite the pressures we are all facing.”
The proposals include the impact of the Government’s historically assumed Council Tax increases, that is to:
Apply a 1.99% increase in Council Tax
Apply a 1% Adult Social Care Precept to Council Tax Bills
Taken together these will add £35.14 to a typical Band A property and £52.72 to a typical Band D property per year
In the Autumn statement, the Chancellor announced that Council’s would be able to increase the amount of Council Tax further, with the option to:
Apply a 2.99% increase in Council Tax
Apply a 2% Adult Social Care precept to Council Tax Bills
Taken together these will add £58.65 to a typical Band A property and £87.98 to a typical Band D property per year
Councillor Martin Rankin, cabinet member for finance and resources said, “The Government have once again failed to address the huge financial challenges Councils are facing and the pressures on some of our most critical services such as Adult Social Care.
“Councils are not immune to financial pressures that households are experiencing and whilst there will be no direct impact to our front-line services, we are
exploring areas where we can make efficiencies to help set a balanced budget.
“Once again, the Government have assumed the burden of increasing Council Tax and applying the Adult Social Care precept should be met by our residents
rather than providing us with fair, adequate funding.
“We have brilliant track record of prudent financial management, and we know we can continue to deliver high quality services across every corner of our
Borough and continue to support those who need it most.
“Nothing is set in stone with our proposals, and we are proud to be a council that listens to our residents, businesses and communities. Every decision the council makes is shaped by our communities and we would like to hear their thoughts and feelings on our proposals before we finalise plans in early 2023.”
Information on how to get involved can be found on the council’s website.