Middlesbrough residents are being reminded that they still have three weeks to make their views known on proposed cuts to Middlesbrough Council’s budget.
Mayor Ray Mallon outlined 78 proposed cuts and changes to service provision at a meeting of Middlesbrough Council earlier this month, and announced a six-week period of public consultation which ends on Friday, November 18.
The proposals add up to just over £10 million towards the total of nearly £14 million which must be cut from the Council’s budget for the 2012/13 financial year.
The Council is required to find overall budget reductions of more than £50 million over the next three to four years, with savings of £15 million already identified in the current financial year.
The draft proposals range from the closure and disposal of Council buildings and assets to increased charges and staffing and management restructure, resulting in the loss of more than 120 jobs.
The Mayor said priority would be given to protecting the vulnerable, maintaining universal services (eg street cleaning and bin collections) and supporting the town centre as Middlesbrough’s ‘engine room’.
Mr Mallon said every effort would be made to avoid compulsory redundancies, and urged members of the public and Council staff to play their part in the consultation process.
So far more than 250 suggestions and questions have been received and are being addressed by the Council’s budget team.
Key issues of concern include the proposed closures of Clairville Stadium and the Southlands Centre, the withdrawal of Dial-A-Ride and Shopmobility, and possible library closures.
Mr Mallon said: “We don’t want to have to make these, but we have no choice as the budget deficit must be addressed.
“But at this stage these are just proposals – we want to hear the views of those who will be affected, so they can be taken into account when we make what will inevitably be difficult decisions.”
The consultation process runs until Friday, November 18. To take part visit the Middlesbrough Council website at http://www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/budget, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Budget Consultation Middlesbrough, PO Box 506, Strategic Resources, Middlesbrough Council, Civic Centre, TS1 9GA.