Drummond: “Government is not listening”.

Stuart Drummond
Stuart Drummond

HARTLEPOOL Mayor Stuart Drummond has accused the Government of “forgetting” about the region and not listening to concerns.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting, Mayor Drummond said he had written to central Government a number of times in recent months about the severe cuts facing Hartlepool Borough Council but had only received one response.

He also warned people to expect further cuts to services over the next couple of years as this year’s proposals are just the “tip of the iceberg”. Next year the council is facing a budget deficit of £7.5m.

Mayor Drummond said: “What really irks me is that I have written three or four letters to the Government and I have had one response.

“The letters were offering suggestions, alternatives and asking for explanations and it really annoys me that we are getting no response.

“As a region we are being forgotten about and brushed under the carpet and that is not acceptable. As a region and a town we need to stand up to them and fight back.

“We will take this on the chin but it is the people out there who will be suffering.”

He added that the private sector will also feel the effect of council budget cuts as many town firms rely on local authority contracts.

Mayor Drummond added: “It is going to get worse in future years. Unless there is a change in Government, or they start listening to us, then we are going to be sitting here next year with our head in our hands.

“This is the tip of the iceberg and the sad state of affairs is that more people will be losing their jobs in the future.”

Labour councillor Jonathan Brash said the Government “didn’t seem to want to listen to Hartlepool” while Labour councillor Pam Hargreaves said the grant cuts were “appalling”.

Independent councillor Hilary Thompson said the council was in a “dire situation”.