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Old November 26th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #61
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Budget cuts drawn up after City-wide consultation
by Adrian Pearson, The Journal, November 26th 2011


CITY leaders preparing multi-million pound budget cuts have earmarked the services they want to safeguard. Newcastle City Council is to set out where the axe will fall as cabinet members put together next year’s budget. The spending process comes as the council prepares for the latest in a series of annual Government grant reductions throughout the Region, which have already seen hundreds of jobs go.

Government cuts added to rising costs mean the council needs to save £30m next year, and officials admit the easiest and less controversial savings have already been made. As councillors look to introduce the more difficult changes they have revealed the areas they are prepared to save, after a city-wide consultation.

The protected areas include a promise to keep weekly bin collections and maintain high levels of child protection. Also avoiding the larger cuts will be social care for vulnerable adults with substantial as well as critical needs preserved. And there is a promise that services such as libraries, leisure centres and children’s centres will also be saved.


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Old November 29th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #62
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Gateshead Council jobs to go as £70m axed from budget
by Katie Davies, The Journal, November 29th 2011


HUNDREDS of council jobs will be slashed as town hall leaders on Tyneside cope with a fresh round of Government cuts.

Gateshead Council has anticipated that 450 jobs will be axed as the council is forced to find £70m savings during the current three-year period.

Efforts are being made to achieve the reduction through voluntary measures but council bosses say compulsory redundancies can not be ruled out.

The latest blow, the equivalent to £88 less per person every year, follows last year’s £32m reduction in which around 1,000 posts went at the council.

During the first round of consultation earlier this month, residents set out the services they see as most important, which allowed the council to draw up proposals to protect the core services.

At a meeting today the council’s Cabinet is being asked to agree to begin consultation on the proposals. They will discuss how library services can be delivered in a different way and ask trusts, charities and community groups to take on the running of leisure facilities and community centres.


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Old January 28th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #63
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Durham City Arts to close after spending cuts
by Neil McKay, The Journal, January 28th 2012


LOCAL government spending cuts have forced the closure of the agency behind some of the North East’s biggest cultural events.

Durham City Arts (DCA) blamed a decision by the county council to cut funding for its decision to close its doors at the end of March.

A statement from the charity, which was instrumental in introducing book festivals, brass music festivals and a light festival to the city, said: “Durham City Arts has run an amazing series of series of arts programmes and events worth over £1.1m since 2006.

“However, despite this success, Durham County Council has made the decision that no future funding was possible for the company, as it implements its programme of budget reductions to cope with a 30% cut in Government grant.

“This decision follows that of Arts Council England, which had announced the company would be among hundreds to be cut from its new national portfolio. The Arts Council itself has restructured nationally in response to its own funding cuts of 15%.

“Without this core funding, Durham City Arts could no longer see a way forward financially and sadly made the decision to wind up the company.”


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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:47 AM   #64
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Durham County Council chief warns of more brutal cuts
by Adrian Pearson, The Journal, February 1st 2012


THE FULL extent of George Osborne’s additional two years of cuts is spelled out today as a council boss warns the North will find itself unable to provide the same standard of services as the South. Durham County Council has gone through the Chancellor’s autumn statement and now predicts an additional £50m will need to be lost from its budget by 2017. Other councils are planning for similar amounts.

The move means that when rising bills and an aging population are added to the mix the council will be £171m a year worse off – a 40% reduction compared to 2010. Last year Simon Henig, the Labour council leader, set out £123m of cuts up to 2015, bringing with it 1,950 job losses and scrapped posts. Mr Henig’s officers have now had to plan for a far worse scenario, one which the council leader says will usher in a radically different role for the council.

Mr Henig said: “We are looking at a future where we have to be thinner and leaner and our big worry is that we will be forced into a position where we are not able to deal with the needs of the people in Durham. “And what is very obvious to me is that this is not a fair position. Why are we in a situation where a North-South divide is forced upon us?

“Why should an older person in Wokingham or Surrey be given the care they need by their local authority but an older person here face a situation where the council cannot fund the same level of care? “I don’t understand why the Government would want to distribute the pain in this way, but that is what is happening.


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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:08 PM   #65
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I just lost my job at Newcastle City Council yesterday. Just waiting for my final date. Another victim of the cuts. In a way, I feel lucky to escape when I have. Says it all that, although I was angry and upset on the day, today I feel much more optimistic about the future and the challenges that lie ahead.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 10:32 AM   #66
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Northumberland Theatre Company dealt a funding blow
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, May 10th 2012


A TOURING theatre company based in Northumberland has been dealt a further funding blow which leaves its long-term future still uncertain. The Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC) which has toured productions at village halls in rural areas across the country for the last 33 years, was given major bad news last year when Arts Council England withdrew its regular funding.

The company, based at Alnwick Playhouse, recently applied for strategic touring funding from the same body and had been advised that it was recommended for approval. It said it needed the money to allow its autumn tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to go ahead.

However, NTC announced yesterday that its application had been unsuccessful. In spite of the blow, the company is determined that the autumn tour will proceed as planned.

Bosses have also revealed they are to reapply to the same fund – the outcome of which will be known on August 20 – and that they have a series of other funding applications in the pipeline. However, they say the company continues to face an uncertain future.


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Old June 8th, 2012, 10:47 AM   #67
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Cuts and recession hitting tourism in Northumberland
by Tony Henderson, The Journal, June 8th 2012


Visitors at Housesteads Fort on Hadrian's Wall

THE IMPACT has been revealed of cuts and the recession on the North East’s finest landscapes. In December 2010, Northumberland National Park Authority was told by Defra its budget would be cut by 33% over four years.

The tourism pull of the park in 2010 was worth £62m, with 1.35 million visitors, but because of cutbacks, one in four of the park’s staff has now left and numbers arriving at its visitor centres have dropped by 26% compared to the previous five-year average. Reports to the authority’s annual meeting next week say factors for the slide include poor summer weather last year, the economic downturn, lack of regional tourism marketing after the demise of regional development agency One NorthEast, and rising fuel prices which have made drivers think carefully about the length of trips.

Attempts to involve the private sector in running the park’s visitor centres at Rothbury and Ingram in the Breamish Valley have not been successful. The centres are likely to close at the end of the 2012-13 visitor season. A financial report to the park authority’s annual meeting says: “The authority has reacted effectively to achieve the savings required by the reduction in grant from Defra.”, but it adds: “The lack of alternative sources of income and few capital assets to draw income from does make Northumberland very susceptible to changes in Government funding.”

Park chief executive Tony Gates says in his performance review there has been a “significant drop in the level of activity the authority has been achieving over a number of years.” He adds: “It is clear the authority’s capacity to deliver has been significantly dented."


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Old June 9th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Newcastle Historian View Post
'Cuts aren't hitting the North East too hard'
by Adrian Pearson, The Journal, January 15th 20110



THE Prime Minister sparked outrage yesterday by claiming the North East has not been as hard hit as the South by the Government’s cuts.

And in an attempt to deflect blame from the Coalition’s budget cutting he questioned whether Newcastle Council chief executive Barry Rowland deserved his £165,000 pay packet – a salary Mr Cameron said was higher even than his own.

On a visit to the region, Mr Cameron insisted there was no North-South divide in the cuts, despite claims Newcastle is losing around £98 per head and Durham as much as £134 per head while the likes of Surrey escaped with just a £9 per head reduction.

Mr Cameron justified his claims with an example from his own constituency – Witney in Oxfordshire.

“My constituency is losing 23% of its grant, much more than anywhere in the North East and so I think the settlement is fair in that way,” he said.

Seen as a percentage Mr Cameron’s claims are correct, but The Journal can reveal the actual cash spending cut is tiny compared to those in the North.

While Newcastle City Council is losing £25m in one year, with rising costs bringing the shortfall up to £50m, the 23% cut to Mr Cameron’s West Oxfordshire council is worth just £775,000.


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Sorry to go back to this post from January, but it's relevant to my question.

The government's theory is basically "private sector good, public sector bad". That's annoying for those of us that work in the public sector, but it's obviously true that the private sector generates the nation's wealth whereas the public sector only spends it (even if it does so on vital things without which the private sector would be in big trouble...).

So the logic is that a region like the north east, with a relatively high proportion of public sector workers, should change more than an area like, say, David Cameron's constituency in Oxfordshire where little public money is spent. Yes Witney's got a big cut as a percentage, but that's from a small budget; the north east is getting a smaller proportional cut but from a far bigger budget.

My question is simply whether anyone believes that the plan will work, i.e. that shrinking the state in places like NE England will make way for a more dynamic private sector, with the public-sector job losses being made up for by businesses hiring new staff. Does anyone already detect something like that happening?
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Old June 18th, 2012, 01:57 PM   #69
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1,000 North East NHS staff in fear of losing jobs
by Helen Rae, Evening Chronicle, June 18th 2012


MORE than 1,000 NHS staff in the North East face possible redundancy as a result of the Government’s controversial healthcare reforms. The Chronicle has seen documents which show that NHS staff-side trade unions have received an NHS letter informing them of potential job losses at Primary Care Trusts throughout the region. It is thought that a total of 1,367 posts could be affected in a “worst-case scenario” and unions are working hard with local management to try to keep the number of redundancies as low as possible.

As part of the Government’s unpopular Health and Social Care Act, which came into force earlier this year, all PCTs will cease to exist from April 1, 2013, to be replaced by GP-led clinical commissioning groups. Although it is expected that many staff will be transferred to the new organisations, there is no legal requirement for the commissioning groups to use the support services or staff from the PCTs.

The news of the possible wide-scale redundancies has angered MPs and union leaders, who warn that it could negatively impact upon patient care. Nick Brown, Newcastle East MP, said: “This news seems to mean that all 1,300 primary healthcare jobs in the north of the region are at risk. I don’t see how that many jobs can go without starting to have a serious effect on patient care. It is likely that some staff will be rehired by the new commissioning authorities making the redundancies both unnecessary and expensive for the taxpayer.”


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Old July 2nd, 2012, 11:53 AM   #70
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This from the Sunderland Echo, ---

Sunderland’s beach resorts office Concerned about the possible closure of the Sunderland Resorts Office, Marine Walk, Roker are l-r Sue and Tom Parkin and Margaret Alexander

Published on Monday 2 July 2012 09:40


CUTS could see Sunderland lose its beach resort office.


People living in Roker and Seaburn are concerned that the beach will suffer if the centre, which has duties including looking after council lifeguards, beach cleaning and monitoring the sands, was to close.

Hundreds of concerned people have signed a petition in a bid to save the office, in Marine Walk, which is under review along with other council services.

Read more http://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/b...fice-1-4699949
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Old July 18th, 2012, 11:27 AM   #71
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This from the Sunderland Echo, --


Theatre on at risk list as cuts threaten leisure and cultural activities Jack and the Beanstalk Panto, Gala Theatre, Durham

Published on Tuesday 17 July 2012 12:32


GOVERNMENT cuts could force the closure of libraries, theatres and leisure facilities, according to a new report.


The Local Government Association (LGA) claim that if current plans remain in place, a shortfall of £16.5billion in North East local authority funding will appear by the end of the decade.

Rising social care and waste costs could mean that by 2020, money available for services like libraries, leisure centres and theatres could be reduced by as much as 90 per cent in real terms.

Such a situation would place some of the area’s most valued public facilities at risk, including Durham’s Gala Theatre.

Read more http://www.sunderlandecho.com/lifest...ties-1-4747443
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 11:40 PM   #72
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South Tyneside Council to lose another 350 jobs

South Tyneside Council is shedding 350 further jobs over the next two years.

The council said it was facing "unprecedented cuts in government funding" but was committed to protecting front-line services and jobs "as far as possible".

More than 1,200 jobs have been cut at the council since 2010, through natural wastage or voluntary redundancy.

The Unison union said avoiding compulsory redundancies was getting "harder every time".

..............

Read more and source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-19353314
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Old September 9th, 2012, 03:39 PM   #73
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Actually the cuts started in Cumbria in the late noughties, but seem to have come to an end now. If you want a breakdown, local government has shed about 800 staff, the Rural Payments Agency( a big employer in the county) has shed 600 staff since 2007, Carlisle College about 200, the DVLA 40, Rufus House in Carlisle( DSS) 150 and the threat of 300 jobs to go at the Ministry of Defence in Longtown. However, this has been offset by the creation of 300 jobs at the HMRC in Workington and also many of the RPA staff that left were on fixed term contracts and coming close to retirement.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 04:22 PM   #74
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Newcastle City Council

I can't actually find a NCC ' thread [but as there'ins't one by now there's probably no need for one] - might fit in politics I suppose... NH help..

Anyway.... call from an 'informant' yesterday indicating significant redundancies in NCC. Some offers went out yesterday.

Consolidation of departments - informant involved in one of the call centres and told that there will be a single centralised centre for all NCC calls which will result in staff cuts but that there will also be cuts across the council. I'm unsure if this is 300odd announced in March or a different tranche.

Not a surprise but thought I ought to record.

.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 12:55 AM   #75
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It does seem the North East, and Tyneside in particular, has weathered the recession reasonably well. Unemployment in Newcastle is around the national average, whereas in previous recessions it was among the worst hit places in Britain, and new developments in the city and along the Tyne seem to be helping.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 12:36 PM   #76
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Hundreds protest in Hull city centre against NHS cuts

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save services at the region's main hospitals say they plan to take their fight to the Government's Health Secretary.

The Save Our NHS Hull And East Yorkshire group organised a march through Hull city centre at the weekend as Hull And East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is under pressure to save £99 million.

Full article: http://www.thisishullandeastriding.c...ail/story.html


"The cuts are disproportionate to the rest of the country and we can't absorb this level of cutbacks, given the challenges we face locally."

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust runs Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham and its latest financial plan means £24 million of the £99 million has to be saved this year.


Their concerns follow the recent closure of ward six, a specialist cardiac ward at Castle Hill Hospital, and other planned cutbacks.

I mention this last quote because:

Almost 2,000 people in Hull living with severe heart problems


ALMOST 2,000 people in Hull are living with a severe heart problem, according to a charity.

The figure has been revealed by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which has launched the latest phase of its Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.

Full article: http://www.thisishullandeastriding.c...ail/story.html



------

How long before the Government release another league table-like statement saying that healthcare in Hull is the worst and London is the best? Just like when they cut 40,000 private sector jobs in Hull (with the second hardest hit place (the North East) having only a fraction of that cut) and London gaining 40,000 private sector jobs at the same time followed by a Government statement of "Hull has high unemployment, London has low unemployment"
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Old September 25th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcastlepubs View Post

Hard to argue with much of that.

Newcastle City Council

I can't actually find a NCC ' thread [but as there'ins't one by now there's probably no need for one] - might fit in politics I suppose... NH help..

Anyway.... call from an 'informant' yesterday indicating significant redundancies in NCC. Some offers went out yesterday.

Consolidation of departments - informant involved in one of the call centres and told that there will be a single centralised centre for all NCC calls which will result in staff cuts but that there will also be cuts across the council. I'm unsure if this is 300odd announced in March or a different tranche.

Not a surprise but thought I ought to record.
I worked at NCC until the end of March this year, where I was made redundant (from the IT dept).

I keep in touch with several people there. They had to save £42m in the year I went. This year, I hear they have to save £90m.

Quite a few went when I did, about 350ish I seem to remember, along with about 10 people I personally knew.

This year will be far worse if the figures are to be believed. I've heard between 1/4 and 1/3 of the workforce could be threatened (although take that with a pinch of salt, people always exagerrate in these situation, even if the situation IS quite bad).

Barry Rowland is getting a big golden handshake I would imagine, and they've just given everyone at the minimum wage a pay rise. Not sure how they can justify this considering the level of savings needed to be made.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 09:56 AM   #78
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Two Northumberland visitor centres are axed
by Brian Daniel, The Journal, October 6th 2012


AWARD-WINNING visitor centres in two Northumberland communities are to close, after efforts to find new operators failed. The closure of the facilities at Rothbury and Ingram was yesterday announced by Northumberland National Park Authority, with effect from the end of the current tourist season.

Bed and breakfast owners in both communities last night greeted the news with a mixture of sadness and anger, with one accusing the authority of focusing on Hadrian’s Wall to the detriment of the North of the park, and of not working hard enough publicly to find a new operator.

The authority last night explained how its funding from the government had been cut by 33% over a four-year period from March 2011. As a result, bosses had to “reprioritise” its work areas and allocate finances accordingly, putting in place a budget reduction strategy which has included the loss of 25% of authority staff.

The authority decided to withdraw from the visitor centres as of next March but allowed two years to explore other ways of delivering the services they provide.


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Old October 6th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #79
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Unfortunately the country has a £ 180 billion deficit to pay off and cuts would have been inevitable whoever got in, unless we decided to spend and spend and then end up like Greece.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 07:05 PM   #80
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A big blow to Copeland's tourism industry as the Beacon museum and Whitehaven Civic Hall, which has featured musicians like Morrisey playing, are to close due to cutbacks by the district council. This will be a bigger blow to Whitehaven than the council shedding 50 office jobs.
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