Durham County Council: Tax freeze and job cuts agreed

County Hall, Durham Durham County Council said 1,500 people had taken part in a consultation exercise on budget priorities

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Durham county councillors have agreed to freeze Council Tax for the fourth consecutive year.

But the Labour-controlled authority, which says it must save £200m by 2018, also confirmed up to 1,600 job losses.

Approving the council's budget for the next year, leader Simon Henig said "extremely difficult decisions" still had to be made.

Planned cuts to adult care, school transport, refuse collections and libraries will go ahead.

The council, which employs about 10,000 people, said cuts in government funding meant that initial forecasts of a total reduction of 28% to the budget were now more likely to equate to 36% up until 2018.

Savings of £90m have already been identified and a extended public consultation will hope highlight further areas for savings.

Mr Henig, said: "Our recent consultation shows a high level of understanding of how we have managed spending reductions so far.

"However, there is no doubt there are many more extremely difficult decisions which we will have to make. We will make these while continuing our discussions with residents and businesses in the county and while protecting those who are most vulnerable as best we can."

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