Changes to bin and library services, cash to fund more nursery school hours and a 5% council tax rise were among issues discussed at Sunderland City Council's cabinet meeting today.
Lead members met this afternoon to agree a number of key points.
*A 5% rise in council tax for the next financial year. It will see Band A households pay 79p a week more and Band D homes £1.18pm a week on their bill. Of that 3% is an adult social care precept to raise £4.2million to support older and vulnerable people in care homes and 4,000-plus in their own homes. The final approval for the budget and council tax will come at a meeting of the full council on March 1.
*Plans to introduce fortnightly rather than weekly collection for bins, with general waste and recycling to alternate. The move will save £750,000 a year, while £500,000 will be invested into flytipping and littering enforcement, which will also cover the cost of cutting grass in open public spaces.
*Approval of 12 new refuse and recycling collection vehicles at a cost of £2.6million. They will replace ageing vehicles and reduce the cost of maintaining older vehicles, which have been in service for seven years, as well as make the service more efficient.
*An agreement over its capital programme for the next financial year amounting to £156.513million, with £319.8million allocated up to 2021. The programme includes funding for the New Wear Crossing, and phase one of the Vaux site redevelopment, while future projects include International Advanced Manufacturing Park North East and the Port Enterprise Zone.
*Plans for an adult advocacy services, as well as the introduction of an electronic care monitoring system.
*More changes to library services, with proposals which include libraries to continue to operate in the city centre, Washington and Houghton. Those in Hetton, Ryhope, Shiney Row, Bunny Hill, Fulwell, Kayall and Washington Millennium Centre could be taken on by community groups. A better digital service, support for the Books at Home service and more work between the council and Sunderland's university and college are also proposed.
*To increase funding in St Chad's, Barnes and Fulwell areas to cover the cost of 30 hours of free nursery care, with four schools to receive "capital works" to provide the spaces when the childcare entitlement comes in this September.
*A three-year Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) will be brought in to the city centre, with the support of Northumbria Police. It will allow action against aggressive beggars, bin rakers, dog control, psychoactive substances, formerly known as legal highs and skateboarders and cyclists causing a nuisance. The council has stressed those who are in need of help will be given support.
*An agreement to sell land at the former Ayton Primary School in Goldcrest Road, Washington, to Galliford Try, with the plot likely to be used for family housing.
You can watch a video of the full meeting via our Facebook page.