Hartlepool Council in service merger talks

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A Teesside council is considering sharing services with neighbouring authorities to try to save money.

Labour-run Hartlepool Council is holding talks with other councils about potentially merging services such as waste collection, as well as sharing managers such as a chief executive.

The town's mayor Stuart Drummond said nothing could be ruled out.

Over the next two years the council's government budget is being cut by 20% - from £51.5m to £41.3m.

Mr Drummond said: "It is on the table and being discussed - the idea of merging services is going to generate savings.

"Do we share a chief executive with another authority? - it needs to be looked at."

So far the council's cabinet has come up with a package of measures which will save £5.5m a year, but it needs to make more savings.

The package includes reducing community and voluntary organisations' funding, and withdrawing the dial-a-ride door-to-door transport service.

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