Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

A dark cloud threatens Middlesbrough

Whilst the sun beams down on Newton-under-Roseberry, Middlesbrough in the distance finds itself threatened by an ominous cloud approaching from the south.

In what can only be described as a breathtakingly audacious move, Michael Gove, a shining beacon of the Tory elite, appears to be leading his party on a merry dance towards even greater public disdain. He’s masterminded the relocation of a cool £14 million’s worth of assets from Middlesbrough Council to the Middlesbrough Development Corporation, a private company chaired by the illustrious Tory Lord Ben Houchen. It seems this delightful little wheeze is just one step in a grand scheme to drive local councils into the depths of financial despair, gently coaxing them into handing over more of their prized possessions to private profiteers1Corrigan, Naomi, and Joanna Morris. 2024. ‘Government Approves Transfer of Middlesbrough Council Assets’, BBC News (BBC News) <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c2v9ngnxw55o> [accessed 19 March 2024]2Corrigan, Naomi. 2024. ‘Transfer of Council Assets to MDC given Final Go-Ahead by Michael Gove’, Teesside Live <https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/transfer-council-assets-middlesbrough-development-28816244> [accessed 19 March 2024].

This little ruse certainly raises a few eyebrows, doesn’t it? Firstly, the Middlesbrough Development Corporation’s big brother, the Tees Valley Combined Authority, has been under the spotlight for some time now, with rumours swirling around it like leaves in a storm—even a report commissioned by Gove’s very own Tory government doesn’t exactly paint a rosy picture.

Secondly, losing these assets means losing out on a nice bit of income for the local government. Typically property, they are rather handy for providing services, some of which come with a delightful charge. If they’re taken away from the council, it means less dosh flowing into the council’s coffers.

And finally, brace yourselves, good citizens, for the inevitable hike in bills. With the council having to rent back the very assets Gove has graciously transferred, the public will undoubtedly be left picking up the tab for services that were once theirs to enjoy. It’s essentially a cunning little ploy to siphon public funds straight into the pockets of the über-rich, who get to sip champagne whilst the rest of us count our pennies.

Ah, the joys of privatisation: electricity, water, rail, and now local government. What a delightful era we’ve entered into.


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2 responses to “A dark cloud threatens Middlesbrough”

  1. John Richardson avatar

    Well said! They all seem to have been taught by T. Dan Smith. Do they never learn? No. They just get away with it. ATB, John

    1. Fhithich avatar
      Fhithich

      T Dan Smith! I haven’t heard that name for a while.

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