Redcar's local Labour candidate Anna Turley has today (Wednesday 16th July 2014) raised concerns with Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Chief Executive Amanda Skelton over cuts made to front-line neighbourhood services.
In her letter, Anna Turley has asked that a review be undertaken into the impact of the Council's Shaping Our Future restructure on the delivery of local environmental services that include grass cutting, weed removal, litter and fly-tipping.
“I am deeply concerned that due to Lib Dem and Tory cuts to local funding the council has been forced to undertake a restructure, and as a result local street service have have hugely deteriorated. Weeds are rampant, land that used to be mowed is now left wild, and neighbourhood officers, who do such a crucial job in responding to street issues, now seem few and far between.
“A lot of investment went into making our streets cleaner, greener and safer before this government got in. Now our streets have been left to deteriorate and local people are rightly angry.
“The council has had a third of its budget cut, when other areas in the country have seen an increase, and we are now seeing the impact of this in our local community in the shape of weeds, pot holes and fly-tipping. Under this Lib Dem and Tory government, the only thing not getting cut is the grass!”
Local Labour councillors have demanded that the changes to neighbourhood services, brought about by Governnment cuts, are discussed at Executive Scrutiny to assess their impact.
Christopher Massey, Labour Councillor for Eston and Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs said:
“The Council continues to do its absolute best to mitigate the impact of the Coalition Government's cuts to our budgets. We have safeguarded our front-line environmental services and have recently added an extra 15 clean and green operatives across the Borough, however we have been forced to lose many managerial staff in our restructure. In addition, we have recently appointed upwards of 20 new apprentices to the Clean and Green service to aid service delivery and to provide great on-the-job training and qualifications to the young people of the Borough.
“This summer has seen a particularly high level of rain, followed by high temperatures, meaning grass and weeds have grown quickly as result.
“I am confident that, as the structural changes to our staffing bed-in and our new members of staff become acclimated with our procedures, we will going forward – despite savage Government cuts to our budget - endeavour to deliver the same quality of service in environmental operations as we always have.”