Ellie Ames 14 December 2023

Middlesbrough proposes job cuts as it warns of ‘tough choices’

Middlesbrough proposes job cuts as it warns of ‘tough choices’ image
Image: https://www.middlesbrough.gov.uk

Middlesbrough Council has proposed axing 75 full-time equivalent posts and cutting social care costs as it scrambles to set a balanced budget for next year.

Officers have set out savings proposals totalling £14m, but warn they still leave the authority with a £6m deficit in its 2024-25 budget.

A report stresses that the combined effect of the Local Government Finance Settlement – expected on around 19 December – and an inability to find further savings could see the authority unable to set a balanced budget for next year.

The report states that if this is the case, the council will apply to the Government for Exceptional Financial Support by mid-January, likely in the form of a capitalisation direction – and if this is denied, it will have to issue a section 114 notice.

On 20 December, the council’s executive will be asked to approve a public consultation on the savings proposals that have been identified so far.

The measures focus on social care, which accounts for 83% of Middlesbrough’s budget.

Proposals include using technology more and increasing reablement in adult social care, while for children, the council plans to ‘develop new models for placements’ and bolster in-house fostering capacity.

Reduced waste collection, involving fortnightly bin collections, and the closure of the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum are also listed as cost-cutting measures.

Middlesbrough mayor Chris Cooke said: ‘The financial situation we are facing means we will have to take tough choices in the short term in order to save our services in the long term.’

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