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Dark cloud of deficit disappears.

The mood at meetings these days of Cleveland Police Authority has changed dramatically.

A year ago a dark financial cloud hung over the authority as it wrestled with a pounds 7m budget blackhole.

Yesterday the authority considered a further report on the expected financial position at the end of this financial year.

It showed expected savings of pounds 4.2m during the year - pounds 1m of which is already being directed to front-line action.

Alf Illingworth told the authority: "This is an excellent good news story. The police and the authority are in control of financial management. A year ago we had a pounds 7.1m deficit.

"To put an extra pounds 1m to front-line policing must make the public very happy."

Cllr Dave McLuckie, the authority chairman, said the force's workforce modernisation initiative was being held up as one of the best in the country.

Ken Gardner said: "I hope we never return to the dark days of financial difficulties."

Chief Constable Sean Price said the pounds 4.2m savings was good news for the present and the future.

He said: "But there are two difficult years coming up and we need the savings to cover for the leaner years."

TRIBUTE has been paid to Redcar and Cleveland Council principal welfare rights officer Val Hudson, who is retiring.

Councillor Valerie Halton, Cabinet member for social care, said: "Val Hudson has made a huge difference to the quality of life to vulnerable residents."

Val Hudson, of Eaglescliffe, said: "I have lots of happy memories."
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2005
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