South Tyneside Council bosses want to hear the views of residents as they push ahead with a further £22m of cutbacks next year.
As the local authority prepares its budget for 2015/16, it is calling on people in the borough to take part in a budget survey.
Over the last four years the council has shed more than one thousand jobs, while making savings of over £100m.
But further cuts are needed, and Coun Ed Malcolm, the council’s lead member for finance and resources, wants the public to identify their priorities before the budget is set.
He said: “It is no secret that due to cuts from central government we are facing considerable financial challenges.
“It is vital that we consult with the people of South Tyneside, to find out what is important to them and where they think spending should be prioritised.
“We are looking at every possible way to reduce costs.”
The budget survey is in the latest issue of the Residents’ Newsletter which is being delivered to every home in the borough right now.
Residents are asked to complete the questionnaire in the centre of the newsletter and follow the instructions to stick, fold and post to the FREEPOST address.
Alternatively residents can go online here: www.southtyneside.info/budget
The closing date for comments and questionnaires is Friday, December 5.
The cabinet will consider feedback from this consultation in February before the proposals are debated by the full council.
Source – Shields Gazette, 11 Nov 2014
Unite union has teamed up with Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) to set up a “community hub” centre at the Miners’ Hall in Red Hill, Durham, which they say will become a resource for those most in need of help to deal with cuts, changes in benefits such as the bedroom tax and the tests carried out by ATOS, the company contracted by the Government to carry out the fitness-to-work assessments.
It will also launch a Benefit Buddying scheme, offering peer-to-peer support for those who are most vulnerable and are facing difficulties (which sounds like it might be a good idea), and campaign for welfare rights.
The centre will open two days (Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 – 15:00) with the volunteers also offering support, help to learn new skills and guidance as people search for work.
The official launch is on Friday, November 15, at 2pm.
Dave Hopper, general secretary of the DMA, said: “We have opened the community support centre in partnership with Unite in a response to the vicious attacks on the benefits system brought in by the Con-Dem Government.
“The last Conservative Government decimated our coal industry, now this Government is making the people of the North East suffer all over again.”