Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Politics: Cut not as deep as predicted

The leader of Calderdale Council has said that recent Government cuts to the spending power of councils nationally was 'much less than predicted'.

The council will see its overall spending power cut by 2.1 per cent for 2015-16 compared to the national average of 1.8 per cent.

Council leader Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf) said: “We set a budget last February for 2015/16 and 16/17 based on an estimated settlement - the actual settlement last week gives us an extra £900k, so if council agrees the budget could be accepted at the accepted increase of one per cent, together with the Government’s extra award for keeping Council Tax low, the tax will remain as last year.

“This means that the only increase in Council Tax during the length of this Parliament was the two per cent Labour pushed through in 2013 because there were no elections that year.”

The cut has been criticised by Labour MP for Halifax Linda Riordan.

She said: “It’s a savage settlement meaning local residents will pay more for less - the Government has failed Halifax yet again by giving us less services, less jobs and less investment.”

This cut is aside from the recent news that Calderdale will see an overall reduction in its budget for roads.

Calderdale Council’s head of Planning and Highways, Geoff Willerton, said: “The government money will contribute to our highway maintenance funding over the next six years.

“It will rise next year but will gradually fall below the current amount due to changes in the way the funding is calculated. We are looking at how the money can be spent to have maximum effect in Calderdale.”

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