Tees

Consultation highlights fears over Middlesbrough budget cuts

The planned closure of youth centres and axing of a dial-a-ride service are among the top concerns of Middlesbrough residents, a consultation has found.

Middlesbrough Council said more than 600 people responded to a consultation on plans to save £12.8m over next year.

The scrapping of a Shopmobility scheme, library closures and relocation of services for the deaf also emerged as prime concerns.

A final decision on budget cuts is due to be taken in March 2012.

About 120 council jobs face the axe over the next 12 months, and this could to rise to a total of 500 by 2015.

'Very passionate'

Middlesbrough, which has a Labour majority but is led by Independent mayor Ray Mallon, needs to save a total of £50m over the next four years.

Mr Mallon unveiled the 78 draft proposals in early October which formed part of the six-week consultation, which ended on Friday.

David Budd, Middlesbrough Council's deputy mayor, said: "We have had a very strong response to the consultation with people showing that they are passionate for the local services the council provides.

"It has been a genuine consultation, not just a paper exercise, and we are very grateful to those who have taken the time to take part."

A 6,400-name petition was also handed into the authority on 17 November against plans to close Clairville athletics stadium.

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