Council expects to shed 1,300 jobs over three years as part of £90m budget cuts (From The Northern Echo)
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Newcastle Council leader blames the scale of Government funding cuts
UP to 1,300 jobs could be lost after a North-East council outlined plans to make budget cuts of £90m over three years.
Proposals put forward by Newcastle City Council would result in the closure of 10 libraries and the City Pool.
Leisure centres, bin collections and public toilets are also in the firing line.
The social care budget will also be affected, with the council saying it will only be able to support the most vulnerable people with critical needs by 2016.
The council is proposing to freeze council tax, but added that about 1,300 jobs will go over three years as part of a "radical restructure".
Senior management posts will be halved and the council said it would try to avoid compulsory redundancies.
Council chiefs said the scale of Government funding cuts left it with no choice.
It said greater demand for services and rising cost pressures had also contributed to the need to save £38m next year, rising to £90m in the third year - a cut of more than one third of its overall revenue budget.
Council leader Nick Forbes described the proposals as "one of the darkest days for public service in Newcastle".
He added: "The cut in Government grant is grossly unfair at a time when more and more families are turning to us for help.
"Financially, this has put us in an impossible position from which there is no escape.
"We will not abandon the residents of this city, but as we cease to provide some services they will have to do more for themselves and expect less from the council."
Opposition councillors questioned the need to cut so many vital public services so drastically.
Lib Dem leader David Faulkner said: "Councils always have choices as to how they apply the cuts. I'm not sure that I or the community here are going to particularly agree with the way Newcastle City Council are going about it."
The draft budget proposals will be presented to cabinet on Wednesday, November 28 when a formal consultation begins. Final recommendations to council, which will set the budget and council tax, will be made on March 6 next year.
To access the proposals in full go to www.newcastle.gov.uk/budget2016 and to take part in the consultation go to www.letstalknewcastle.co.uk/budget2016
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