Residents' views sought on council's draft budget plans
11 Dec 2020
Take part in the survey HERE
Residents are being invited to have their say on next year’s draft budget proposals.
A cornerstone of the plans will be a focus on economic recovery after a challenging financial year, with significant budget pressures due to increased demand in adult and children's social care, special educational needs and disability services, as well as the impact of Covid-19.
Savings of £8.3million have been identified to balance the budget for 2020-21 but over the coming years there will also be a significant push on helping Northumberland to recover and grow economically, with an emphasis on delivering a green and sustainable future for the county.
Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “The global Covid pandemic has presented profound challenges for us all this year – not least the way we communicate with residents and that’s why we’re doing things a little differently.
“Councils, including ours, have been on the front line of responding to Covid, adapting quickly to keep vital services operating, supporting our schools to stay open throughout, and protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Nick Oliver, Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources added: “It’s with this in mind we welcomed the Comprehensive Spending Review last month where local authorities were given more flexibility around setting Council Tax.
"We know the hardship that Covid has brought to many people and how saving a few pounds can make a real difference.
“Like many other councils our proposed Council Tax increase will be 1.99%, we're splitting the Adult Social Care Precept over two years – with an increase of 1.75% 2021, and then 1.25% the following year.
“So while facing extra demand for services we're looking to keep the rise to a minimum and continuing our ambitious capital investment to regenerate the county and bring jobs.”
The Leader continued: “Whilst this year has been tough, we have continued to develop plans for economic recovery and progressed delivery of investment in the county’s infrastructure – from new schools to leisure centres and improving roads.
“We always knew the financial context was going to be challenging this year - as well as into the future - and this is where we’d like you to have your say.
“We’ve always prided ourselves as being a council that listens to its residents so that's why we’ll be opening up a discussion on our budget proposals.
“It will be a genuine consultation on the challenges we face, and an opportunity for people to let us know how they’d prioritise the services we deliver.
“We’ll be gathering all this information together which will help us make some key decisions.”
The Council’s budget consultation runs for six weeks until 21 January 2021 and will go before Full Council in February 2021.
Take part in the survey HERE