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Strong public reaction to £11m council cuts in Middlesbrough
THE public have hit out against £11m worth of proposed council cuts in Middlesbrough.
A large number of petitions, inquiries and objections have been lodged with Middlesbrough Council since the town’s mayor, Ray Mallon, announced the cuts in October.
During a six-week consultation period, members of the public have made their views known, lodging more than 270 inquiries and five petitions bearing more than 2,500 signatures.
If the proposed cuts go ahead, more than 100 services will be directly affected and 220 jobs lost in order to make the £11m of savings.
Plans to close key community facilities have sparked anger among local residents.
The proposed closure of Hemlington Library saw a petition signed by 2,167 people handed to Middlesbrough councillor Charlie Rooney.
A campaign to save a factory that has been providing employment for disabled workers for 70 years, has also been launched.
The ‘Save Ayresome Industries’ campaign is being supported by politicians, residents, union members and workers keen to keep the factory open.
Other key issues highlighted by the public include objections to proposals to close the St Mary’s Centre and Sunningdale Mental Health Residential Home, to end green waste collections and to reduce support for the Middlesbrough 10k Road Race.
A meeting of the council will be held on Tuesday, December 18 to discuss feedback received.
Mr Mallon is expected to indicate at the meeting which proposals will go ahead, which will be amended and which will be withdrawn.
He will also outline further proposals for cuts designed to save a further £2m.
He said he was grateful to the public for taking part in the consultation process and added: “In an ideal world, we wouldn’t be making any of these cuts, but the economic prospects facing this town and the country as a whole remain bleak...The cuts are already hitting the way public services are delivered across Middlesbrough and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
"The cuts will affect every citizen, and that is why it is vital that we offer everyone the opportunity to have their say on how and where we make these difficult decisions.”