Middlesbrough Council faces budget cuts in bid to save £56m

Middlesbrough Town Hall Image copyright Google
Image caption Middlesbrough Council will stage a public consultation on its budget proposals

A Teesside council has outlined proposed cuts to services as it looks to save £56m from its budget over the next three years.

Middlesbrough mayor Dave Budd blamed a "savage" reduction in Government funding.

He also said there would be redundancies at the local authority, but would not reveal how many.

A government spokesman said councils were facing "a reduction of just 1.7% in real terms each year".

Proposals include changes to care services, which the local authority believes could save £600,000 in the 2016/17 financial year, and a further £580,000 reduction from changes in the way some leisure services are provided.

A review of "back office functions" such as HR and ITC have also been identified as bringing savings of about £900,000 over the same period.

Mr Budd said: "The savage cuts imposed by government on this and other local authorities have seen our budget cut by more than £80m over the past five years.

"However, this council is not paralysed. We have enormous savings to make, but we have a way forward."

Plans to introduce a 20p charge to use Middlesbrough bus station's toilets have also been put forward, alongside axing school crossing patrols at sites with pelican crossings.

The council said the latter would save £24,000 per year.

A Government spokesman said councils needed to "continue to play their part in cutting the deficit", adding "they will still have almost £200bn to spend on local services over the lifetime of this parliament".

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