Budget proposals rubber stamped by Northumberland County Council cabinet

County Hall in Morpeth County Hall in Morpeth
County Hall in Morpeth
Council tax bills are set to rise in Northumberland as leading county councillors gave their stamp of approval to the proposals.

The authority expenditure will include road improvements and even public toilets.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Northumberland County Council’s cabinet voted to recommend the budget at a full council meeting later this month.

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If the budget is voted through Council Tax is expected to go up by 4.24% – this is made up of a 1.99% base increase plus a further 2.25% earmarked for adult social care.

This equates to Band A households paying an extra £49.74 per year while those living in Band D properties would pay an additional £73.61 per year.

Savings of £9.7m are also earmarked, although Council Leader Coun Glen Sanderson previously stressed these will not be at the expense of front-line services.

More than £2m has been earmarked to maintain the county’s roads and footpaths.

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The budget report confirmed that £2.225m has been allocated in 2022-23 for highway maintenance investment in U and C roads and footways.

The budget proposals include an ambitious £307m capital programme for 2022/23 covering everything from major investment in affordable housing, continued improvements to leisure centres and a range of renewable energy schemes to make the county greener and cleaner.

Better public toilets across the county are also in the pipeline in this year’s budget.

The council’s cabinet is being asked to approve £1.35m for a three-year programme of improvement and refurbishment work – with the final sign off then by full council at the budget setting meeting on February 23.

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The county council is responsible for 54 public toilets, many of which have received only essential maintenance in the past decade, with a backlog of refurbishment work required across most facilities.

A major capital investment programme has been rubber stamped to improve the standards of public toilets, with facilities in the larger main towns and key tourism destinations getting a programme of full refurbishment and modernisation.

All remaining county council toilets will undergo essential refurbishment, so facilities are brought up to a decent standard of repair and are easier to keep clean and maintain.

The final budget proposals will be put before full council and discussed on February 23.