Council chiefs meet to discuss Wearside’s spending plans

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SENIOR councillors are meeting today to discuss how best to steer Wearside through tough financial times over the next four years.

Sunderland City Council’s ruling cabinet were due to look at initial proposals today for next year’s budget and Wearside’s medium-term financial strategy up until 2015.

Council chiefs must look at how best to use what cash is available from Government grants and council tax to provide services to Wearsiders.

A report due to be put before cabinet members reads: “There continues to be uncertainty as to the impact that the Government’s policy to eliminate public sector debt over the next few years will have, and how this will impact on the economic recovery, especially in areas with greater reliance on public sector jobs and higher grant cuts such as the North East.”

Chancellor George Osborne announced at the Tory Party conference this week that funding would be available to local authorities provide a second year of council tax freezes for 2012/13.