No-one will be left unaffected by Middlesbrough Council's £11m spending cuts, warns Mayor Ray Mallon (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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No-one will be left unaffected by Middlesbrough Council's £11m spending cuts, warns Mayor Ray Mallon
NO-ONE in Middlesbrough will remain unaffected by £11m worth of savage budget cuts, mayor Ray Mallon has warned.
More than 200 jobs will be lost and many public services – including those supporting the disabled, elderly and children – will lose vital funding under the budget proposals.
At a meeting of Middlesbrough Council last night (Monday, October 22), Mayor Mallon proposed cuts to 111 services as part of a package designed to save £11m in 2013/14.
He also predicted a further £2-3m of cuts will be announced by December.
“These cuts will affect every citizen, whatever their means and whatever their status," he said. "No-one will be immune.”
As part of the cuts, Ayresome Industries - a factory employing disabled workers to produce UPVC goods - will close, as will Hemlington Library and Sunningdale Mental Health Residential Home.
The Shopmobility scheme will also be axed while charities across the town will have funding reduced together with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Mr Mallon criticised the Coalition Government for putting the council in an unenviable position of having to make £50m of cuts over four years to meet its 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review.
He said: “The situation in Middlesbrough is dire. Many people believe cuts could continue for 10 years. There is a lack of empathy towards areas like Middlesbrough and we face many challenges.
“This government do not understand what social deprivation looks like. It is not bricks and mortar, it is people and generational issues.
"They are not showing any empathy or understanding about the issues facing this town as far as social deprivation is concerned. Middlesbrough is a special case, the potency of our deprivation is clear to everybody. We need assistance.
"They cannot just cut us loose and tell us to get on with it. That is just not on.”
Reacting to the proposals, Coun John McPartland said: “It is like being hit by a sledgehammer. We have been placed in this position by a government that does not understand Teesside and does not want to know, or care.
"So many people are going to be affected, including the young, the disabled and the elderly.”
• Ending funding for Dial-a-Ride transport
• Cutting level and costs of residential placements for looked-after children
• Stopping grants to organisations including Tees Valley Arts, The North of England Refugee Service and the Women’s Support Network
• Ending school clothing grants
• Reducing services that help people in their homes, such as housing wardens and carelink services
• Axing the ‘Teen Mover’ pass for half fares on all bus services
• Reducing spending on Emergency Planning
• Reducing council bus services
• Cutting backon litter picking and street cleaning services
For a full list of proposed cuts, visit: middlesbrough.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=4829&p=0