Cuts to front line services on the cards

Calderdale Council workers gritting the pavement, Savile Park Road, Halifax.
Calderdale Council workers gritting the pavement, Savile Park Road, Halifax.

Unprecedented cuts to front line services could be on the horizon according to the Calderdale Labour group.

Councillors say proposals put to group leaders include ending funding for police community support officers, going to a three weekly waste collection, cutting winter maintenance and ending the provision of grit bins, reducing highways maintenance, reversing the extra staff put in safer cleaner greener teams this year and looking again at cutting child care places in children’s centres.

Labour leader Coun Tim Swift said: “We have been told that if the Council is to find the savings needed by 2017-18, then devastating decisions like these will be required.

“We know that the continuing savage and unfair cuts imposed by the coalition Government are becoming harder to cope with. But we think that many of these proposals are unacceptable.”

Coun Swift added that the Conservatives appear to be planning to leave consultation until after Cabinet publish a draft budget in January and has written to the Chief Executive and the leader of the Council to commission an urgent consultation.

Coun Stephen Baines, Leader of the Council, said that proposals by the Council officers will be released at the start of next week.

“Everybody knows we have to make reductions in the amount of spending.

“We made reductions to administration in the Council and that is what we would want to rather than cut front line services.”

Coun Baines also argued that the group have kept other party leaders better informed and been open about reduction costs and cuts.