Tyne & Wear

Study finds Tyneside and Northumberland lack resilience

Tyneside and Northumberland are not resilient to possible future spending cuts, according to research commissioned by the BBC.

The research by Experian ranks the resilience of English council areas to economic shocks, like public sector cuts.

Of the 324 areas, Northumberland is best placed in the North East at 206.

Newcastle ranks at 259, North Tyneside 271, Gateshead 280 and South Tyneside 313.

The research does not show the areas which will suffer the greatest amounts of public sector cuts.

But it does aim to show the ability of areas to withstand and respond to situations such as spending reductions.

The north-east of England is said to be particularly vulnerable to spending cuts because of the high proportion of jobs in the public sector.

These amount to almost one in three of the workforce.

Among those anxious about the future is Stephen Rickitt, principal solicitor at Northumberland County Council.

He said it would be "catastrophic" if he lost his job. He said he would have to look for another job and that could well involve moving.

"The potential changes are quite dramatic," he said.

Researchers looked at the resilience of areas across four themes - community, people, place and business - and examined 33 factors.

They included house prices, the strength of the business base, people's skill levels, house prices and crime levels.

Listen to the BBC Newcastle debate at 0900 BST on Friday.

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