COUNCILLORS have signed off plans for a consultation on £24m of cuts at Northumberland County Council.

A budget update revealed that while the deficit had dropped from £65m to £36m, the authority still needed to slash a further £27m from its budget over the next three years.

The proposals which went before the council’s cabinet on Tuesday were for £24m of cuts up to 2022, which means that £3m of savings would still need to be identified in the future.

The £24m is made up of areas including £3.8m from children’s services; £10m from adults, wellbeing and health; £1m from culture, leisure and arts; £1.6m from planning, housing and resilience; £1.7m from resources, revenues and benefits; and £4.9m from environment and local services.

A programme to look at management structures, commercial opportunities and budgets for printing, photocopying, postage and mileage will be set up with the aim of contributing a further £1m in savings.

Councillors agreed to approve the provisional budget balancing measures totalling £24m, as a basis for consultation.

The budget consultation with residents and stakeholder groups for seven weeks will be used to help guide and inform the annual budget setting process.

The savings will not be finalised until the next budget is approved by full council in February.