Stoke & Staffordshire

Newcastle-under-Lyme Council cuts Christmas spending

Council tax has been frozen by a Staffordshire council but spending on public events has been reduced in an effort to cope with spending cuts.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council spent almost £100,000 on Christmas lights, trees and associated energy bills last year.

But this year the budget has been reduced by £50,000.

At a meeting on Wednesday councillors agreed to savings which will reduce spending by £2.7m in 2011-12.

The council, which has no party in overall control, has to make further savings of just over £3m during the next four years.

Council Leader Simon Tagg said: "We have tightened our belts at the council once again.

"A huge amount of work has gone on to review spending and identify efficiencies. By carefully planning ahead we have been able to balance our budgets, make the necessary savings yet at the same time we will continue to invest in our priorities."

Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire Authority and parish precepts (where applicable) must be added to the borough council's part of bills to get the final amount which residents have to pay.

Other cuts include reducing the corporate publicity budget by £65,000, cutting the money spent on public events and removing posts that are currently vacant.

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