Meeting the challenge

It’s been a busy and demanding week with decisions continuing to flow from the new Coalition Government.

Cabinet yesterday discussed how we would meet our greatest challenge – saving £120 million from our budget over the next three years.

This represents a 30 per cent saving over 3 years but is our crucial contribution to reducing the national debt.

This is a challenge we are determined to meet head-on and we are in a good position. We can do it by finding new ways of working that provides support for residents that is appropriate and affordable. It will need a culture change and we will keep our staff involved throughout this process.

We took the first step today at Full Council when I announced the restructuring of our senior leadership team.

I intend the process of recruiting the Senior Leadership Team, as far as possible, to be completed by the end of August – time is of the essence.

A special committee of the County Council will oversee this process. A promise to tax payers is that the cost of senior management will fall as a result.

I would like to thank our colleagues from Newcastle Borough Council for hosting today’s Full Council while work is ongoing in the council chamber at County Buildings. I’d particularly like to thank County Councillor Simon Tagg who is also Leader of NBC.

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