Tyne & Wear

South Tyneside Council agrees £22m budget cuts

South Tyneside Council Image copyright other
Image caption The council has already had to save £100m over the past four years

A council tax rise of nearly 2% has been approved in South Tyneside as the authority faces £22m of budget cuts.

South Tyneside Council said the 1.95% increase for the upcoming financial year would see a rise of about 32p per week for a band A property.

The authority has to save a further £22m to balance the budget for 2015-16.

Councillor Ed Malcolm, lead member for resources and innovation, said it was the "best possible deal" in the "extremely difficult circumstances".

The council has already had to save £100m over the past four years, with more than 800 jobs lost since 2010.

Mr Malcolm said: "Like many councils across the country, the impact of government cuts means that we have had to consider increasing council tax to help maintain important local services.

"This is the first increase in council tax in five years and our council tax level remains low compared to other councils and is the second lowest in the Tyne and Wear region.

"I want to reassure everyone in South Tyneside that this is not a decision we have taken lightly but it is necessary to ensure we can continue to provide vital services over the coming year."

The budget was agreed by councillors on Thursday.

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