Gateshead Council begins consultation this week on proposals identified to meet an estimated £50million funding gap over the next two years.
The eight week consultation with residents, businesses, partners and employees will run from 3 November until 30 December and will seek views on proposals that could see major changes to services across the Borough.
Leader of Gateshead Council, Mick Henry said: “Over the last five years, we’ve had to reduce Council spending by £110million to meet the financial gap caused by huge Government cuts, and this is set to continue.
“We estimate a further £77.7million is needed to be found by 2020.
“In the past we’ve tried hard to limit the impact on frontline services but, with a funding gap as big as this, we can no longer do what we once did.
Now, more than ever, we need to focus on our priorities and adapt our ways of working to meet this financial challenge.
“The Council has had to make some very difficult decisions to find the savings since 2010 and now, with over 2000 fewer employees, it simply isn’t possible to continue delivering the same services in the same way.
“We need to find £50million in further savings over the next two years so we’re looking at every possible way we can reduce our costs and increase income, while also looking at longer-term opportunities to maximise our economic growth, to help support and create jobs, businesses and housing.
“It’s important local people take time to look at the budget challenges we are facing and give us their views on our budget proposals.
“With £300 per person less to spend than we had in 2010, local residents need to be involved in our budget decisions.
“We know the next few years will be challenging; challenging for the Council, for Gateshead the place, and for the people who live and work here.
“But we remain ambitious for Gateshead and recognise that we will all have to work together to achieve our ambitions.
“By sharing responsibility and all playing our part, we can build on our strengths and make a positive contribution to Gateshead’s future.”
Residents can also give their views by emailing email@example.com or by picking up a leaflet in libraries and council buildings.
The outcomes of the consultation on the budget proposals will be fed back to Cabinet.
The Council will agree the budget for 2016/17 in February next year.