Have your say over proposed budget cuts

A SENIOR councillor is urging members of the public to have their say on proposed council budget cuts at an important meeting tomorrow.

Labour councillor Marjorie James said it is vital that people have their voice heard and for them to gain a deeper understanding of why certain recommendations are made.

Hartlepool Borough Council is faced with slashing 20m from its 90m budget over the next four years, with 150 jobs set to go and proposed closures of branch libraries and community centres.

Coun James is chairing a meeting of the council's scrutiny co-ordinating committee, which is set to meet tomorrow inside the council chamber at the civic centre.

She said: "I would urge residents to come forward and participate in these meetings.

"These meetings give people a voice and also an opportunity where there is a difference of opinion to have the reasons explained so that people leave feeling more informed."

As part of the final stage of the process, a detailed report was considered by the scrutiny co-ordinating committee last Friday afternoon, along with evidence from the cabinet, chief executive and directors.

At last week's meeting, scrutiny members agreed with proposals put forward by the cabinet to use a 1.66m transitional relief grant towards funding redundancy costs over the next two years, rather than using it to support next year's budget.

The meeting is set to take place at the Civic Centre at 9am tomorrow.