This month we will present Northumberland Councillors with our second budget that builds on the foundations we have laid for growth in the county.
We inherited a £65m black hole in the Council's finances from Labour and have been addressing that management failure since Northumberland voted for change.
Challenges remain and we need to close a £36m deficit over the next 3 years. Income to the Council has remained relatively static but an increased demand for services is something that we need to manage.
Despite these pressures we will continue to invest in towns and villages in every corner of the county. Over the next three years we will work with partners to develop schemes totalling over £500m. These schemes are not the vanity projects of old but investment that will increase economic prosperity, well-being and opportunities.
A relief road for Blyth is long overdue and we are currently studying options. Berwick and Morpeth Leisure Centres will be replaced with brand new and modern facilities. Schools in Tynedale will benefit from significant investment to provide a sustainable education model for the future. Our 'BUILDING SCHOOLS FOR THE FUTURE' programme will ensure every young person in the county has access to the resources needed to achieve their potential.
We are improving the condition of our roads in every corner of the county, delivering on our pledge to spend over £100 million on the county's roads over our four year term.
We are also embarking on a scheme that will see a new generation of council houses being built in Northumberland. Through Advance Northumberland, we will help businesses generate wealth and jobs in the county.
This month, all councillors will have the opportunity to support a budget that is ambitious but responsible.
Details of the budget that will be presented to the council can be found here.