Budget cuts still set to inflict pain

COUNCIL leaders have agreed the final changes to their draft budget and say they have listened to what people want.

But the cuts will still have an effect on the social care budget with cuts set to save the council more than £10 million over the next three years.

Under the plan, Calderdale would stop providing care for people whose needs are classed as low. The move would affect more than 700 adults.

The banding would be reviewed in October to make sure the April cut was “adequately containing demand pressures.”

Jobs could be on the line, saving £300,000 as a result of planned changes to the reablement service which aims to reduce dependency on home care.

Hundreds of thousands could be saved by changes to contracts with care providers, changes to administration, management structures, training and other efficiences.

The Cabinet has also proposed increasing the maximum weekly amount charged for home care from £150 to £200.

Other proposals include saving £800,000 by reducing housing benefit subsidy, abolishing ten vacant posts in the finance service and three in human resources, saving £400,000, scrapping the £157,000-a-year deputy chief executive, saving £158,000 by cutting the budget for street light repairs and Christmas lights by 15 per cent. But the Cabinet has proposed maintaining spending on gritting.

Councillors have also pledged that all libraries and Sure Start centres will remain open. On and off-street parking will rise by at least 10p an hour.

Cabinet is also proposing that the Council maintains its commitment to household waste recycling by ensuring that all sites are kept open seven days a week.

And school crossing patrols will be safe. After negotiation with the Schools Forum, it is recommended that the service should still be run by the Council but will be funded by schools out of the Dedicated Schools Grant. Cabinet’s proposed Budget will now go forward for discussion by Council on February 28.