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Views sought on council priorities and budget proposals

A consultation is now underway on plans for regeneration, investment, jobs and local services for the years ahead in Middlesbrough.

Currently in development, Middlesbrough Council’s Strategic Plan 2018-21 will outline the priorities that will underpin the town’s future growth and prosperity.

And over the coming months, the views of residents, businesses and other stakeholders will be sought as a vital strand of the planning process.

A report on the Council’s Strategic and Medium Term Financial Plans was given to a meeting of full Council last night (Wednesday, December 6), with the budget set to be agreed by members next March.

Before then members of the public are being asked to complete a short questionnaire on the Council’s website to give their views on the plans.

The latest proposals form part of the latest phase of the Council’s Change Programme, which has seen the authority transform the way it delivers services in response to the austerity measures and budget cuts introduced by the Coalition Government in 2010.

The town’s ambitious Investment Programme will see council investment of approximately £74 million to attract external investment estimated at £625 million, helping to grow Middlesbrough’s economic base, raise the town's profile nationally and create opportunities for local people.

The Social Regeneration Strategy will deliver improvements for residents by improving health, employment, skills, neighbourhood and community outcomes.

In light of continued budget cuts and external pressures, savings of nearly £6 million for 2018-19 are required, with nearly £2 million being achieved through increased income and £2.5 million from the transformation of children’s social care.

Further proposed savings include £300,000 through the implementation of digital mail and purchasing systems, £400,000 from efficiencies from partnership working.

Proposals also include the closure of parts of Ayresome Industries due to lack of demand for goods produced, to achieve total savings of nearly £200,000. The small number of staff affected will be redeployed where possible or supported to find alternative employment.

Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “Everyone at Middlesbrough Council is working to build a fairer, safer and stronger Middlesbrough for the benefit of all our residents, communities and businesses. We would greatly appreciate all feedback on these budget proposals which are the bedrock on which our vision of an even better Middlesbrough are based.”

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