Image demonstrating Cabinet approve draft budget plans

Cabinet approve draft budget plans

The Council’s Cabinet have approved next year’s draft budget proposals – aimed at boosting the county’s economy. 
Over the coming years there will 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. 
Cabinet gave their approval to an ambitious three-year Capital Programme totalling more than £747m, which includes multi-million pound investments in rail and transport links, the regeneration of town centres, school improvements and a host of schemes relating to climate change. 
Work is already well underway on new leisure centres for Berwick and Morpeth, while school improvement works are planned for Amble and Berwick as building continues on Hexham’s new facilities. 
Funding has been set aside for a range of town centre improvement programmes including Ashington, Bedlington and Hexham and the ongoing regeneration of Blyth as a flagship centre for renewable technology. 
Millions are also set aside for new homes, along with investment in parks, roads and highway repairs. 
An ongoing focus is also on the green agenda, with more than £6m set aside for climate change improvements, from investing in a more environmentally friendly fleet of vehicles to installation of solar panels on buildings and a range of flood prevention schemes. 
The budget setting is the result of months of planning, with residents also thanked for their contribution in shaping the proposals. 
More than 370 people took part in an online consultation during December and January, while hundreds more watched a live budget question time with council leaders, and over 30,000 engaging on social media. 
Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “While we’re facing extra demand for services following an extraordinary year, we are continuing our ambitious capital investment to regenerate the county and bring jobs. 
"Our officers across the council have worked hard 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’re proud of what we’re aiming to achieve over the coming years which is aiming to improve the lives of everyone in all parts of the county.” 
The budget will now be considered by Full Council on February 24th. 
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