A North East council are asking residents for their thoughts on budget proposals for next year amid pressures caused by children’s care costs.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council (RCBC) has said its budget for 24/25 is facing “significant pressure” due to the “spiralling costs” of providing placements for children in their care and the ongoing effect of high inflation.

It has said council funding has not kept pace with these spending pressures.

It added a failure to balance the budget could force the council to appoint commissioners to run the body and this could mean “severe cuts” to services.

Additionally, it said this could result in the sales of assets such as buildings, as well as "double-digit" Council Tax increases.

A RCBC spokesperson said: “To avoid this, we are proposing savings to offset the £8.1m shortfall.

“More than 60% of our budget is spent on supporting vulnerable children and adults and, as a council, we are committed to helping those in need who have nowhere else to turn.

“We anticipate this proportion of spend will continue to rise in the coming year, which means we have a relatively small and decreasing amount of money to spend on all the other services we provide every day of the year.

“We also anticipate that inflation and the other factors which contribute to the high cost of living will continue to mean the Council’s outgoings far exceed its income.”

The council added the Government assumes all councils apply the maximum increases of 3% for Council Tax and 2% for the Adult Social Care precept.

It said the funding available is “well short” of matching their duty to spend on services such as social care.

They estimate that after applying the government-assumed increases for Council Tax and for the Adult Social Care precept, the council will have a shortfall of £8.1m in their budget next year.

In November, Alec Brown appealed to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and said the issue was overwhelming local government.

He said: “This is an issue which is overwhelming local government finances at the moment. It has nothing to do with politics; councils run by all parties are facing the same huge challenges caused by the cost of caring for children.

“We know our residents are suffering due to the cost of living and we know they want and need us to provide our services every day, but we have no choice but to balance the books – not doing so would be a far worse outcome for everyone.

“I appeal to the Chancellor to address the biggest issue facing local authorities currently by giving councils funding that ensures we can care for vulnerable children.,

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“We have managed to reduce our in-year budget deficit from £7.7m to £4.7m. A huge amount of work has gone into that, but it is still a massive shortfall, and our depleted reserves, which we use to cover unbudgeted costs, can only be spent once and this is simply unsustainable.

“What we are facing is similar, in some ways, to running a household – we can only spend what we receive.”

A link to the budget consultation can be found here.