PROTESTERS gathered outside Middlesbrough Town Hall tonight to express their disappointment at the town council’s plans to cut nearly £15m from its budget.

Anti-cuts campaign group, Teesside People's Assembly against Austerity, are determined to get their message across that they believe there is an alternative to the government’s plans to slash public spending.

The council has already confirmed the loss of 300 council jobs while another 300 will be transferred to other organisations contracted to carry out some council services.

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Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon identified 40 areas he had earmarked for cuts including the closure of Clairville Stadium, the Middlesbrough Teaching and Training Centre, the TAD Centre and the register office.

Protest organiser Steve Cooke believes that there is an alternative to the spending cuts ahead of a Council meeting to ratify the budget.

He said: “We’re told there is no alternative and that these cuts are caused by economic crisis but, in reality, they are deliberate political attempts to undermine public services that have taken generations to build.

“People are quite demoralised, while many people believe what they are told by the government, including Labour frontbench MPs and some labour councilors, but we believe there is an alternative and will continue to fight these cuts.”