Middlesbrough residents' last chance to have say on council's spending plans

RESIDENTS are running out of time to make their views known on proposals for a Council's budget for the 2014/15 financial year.

Cuts totalling nearly £15mwere outlined by Middlesbrough’s elected Mayor Ray Mallon at a meeting last month, which will lead to major changes to local services and the possible loss of up to 600 jobs.

The Mayor outlined a total of 41 cuts, including the closure of council run facilities and significant reductions and changes to a number of services.

Proposals include reductions in grass cutting, grounds maintenance and litter picking, reductions in leisure centre opening hours and staffing levels and the contracting out of a number of services.

Facilities earmarked for closure include the Middlesbrough Teaching and Learning Centre, the TAD Centre and the Register Office.

A period of public consultation has been underway, ending on Friday January 3, before recommendations are put forward in the next stage of the budget setting process.

Mr Mallon said: "We have no choice but to find these savings if we are to balance the books, and that means this council must change almost beyond recognition.

"As a result people will see a reduction in services and a change in the urban environment - these cuts will affect every single area of what the council does, but we will continue to do the very best we can with the resources available to us."

A special meeting of full Council will take place on Wednesday, January 20 at which the Mayor will present his recommendations.

For full details of the budget proposals and how to take part in the consultation process, visit the Middlesbrough Council website at www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/budget or email budget@middlesbrough.gov.uk

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