Join in the debate about county’s future priorities

COUNTY residents are being urged to attend one of the meetings that will address how councillors can best approach a further drop in the budget.

The three events in the different areas of Northumberland will include a section where members of the public can ask questions and put forward their views.

Over the next four years, the county council will have to make £130millon of cuts on the back of £130million of savings that have been made since local government re-organisation.

Coun Grant Davey, Labour group and council leader, said: “These are undoubtedly challenging financial times for us and we will be targeting our spending and investment wisely.

“The discussion evenings give us the chance to explain the issues surrounding the council’s current financial position while providing local people with the opportunity to put forward their thoughts and views.”

The meetings, all starting at 6pm, will take place on Monday at the Druridge Bay Community Centre, Tuesday at the Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham, and Wednesday at the Briardale Centre, Blyth.

The 2014/15 budget was due to be discussed by the full council yesterday and in advance of the meeting, Coun Davey criticised the Northumberland Conservative group.

He said: “It’s disappointing to see Northumberland Tories once again turn the other way when their Government will cut £65million from the council budget over the next two years.

“I noticed that Coun Jackson hasn’t written to the Government deploring the cut of £259-worth of services from every family in Northumberland and residents will note his silence on this issue.”