Middlesborough councillors told ‘go to the police’ after receiving threatening letters.

Councillors in Middlesborough have received death threats after voting in favour of the demolition of almost 1,500 homes in the town centre. One letter was illustrated with hand-drawn headstones.

Deputy Mayor Bob Brady has advised his colleagues to go to the police, saying: “We live in a democratic society; we have been elected within that system. And we debate things and come to a conclusion based on evidence and experience. And any councillor who receives a letter threatening their safety, their life or property I would strongly advise to go to Cleveland Police, immediately. There is no place for that type of people in our society.''

The plans will mean that 37 streets will be demolished so that a regeneration scheme can begin, after the council were persuaded that the terraced housing held little appeal for first-time buyers. It hopes that modern accommodation will attract more buyers and halt the population decline caused by people moving away from Middlesborough in their thousands.