So have we got it right?

CALDERDALE Council is asking people if they think it has got its spending priorities right.

Over 3,000 responses were received by the local authority earlier this year about its services, which led to increased charges for parking, sport and leisure, cuts to senior management and protection for front line services.

The council says it listened to those messages which were key in helping to shape the budget for this year and next.

Now the council is having to reduce its expenditure by £55 million over the next three years, and is asking you if it has got it right.

The answers from the questionnaire which is available from libraries, council offices and on the council’s website, will help councillors set the budget for 2012/15 when they meet in February 2012.

A simple questionnaire will also be sent to interested groups and organisations and will be discussed at all three ward forums (Hipperholme and Lightcliffe’s on December 8, Rastrick’s on December 12 and Brighouse’s on January 11) and other special interest groups over the next few weeks.

Among the things the council wants to know if whether it should stop providing some services and whether the role of community groups and volunteers in helping to run services should be expanded.

Calderdale Council’s Leader, Coun Janet Battye, said: “Rising costs and changes in the way councils are funded means difficult spending decisions need to be made.

“Last year’s consultation set us up well for the coming year but it’s clear that in the medium-term we are going to face more potential challenges and therefore we need to plan ahead and want to know what people think now.

“Calderdale Council faces difficult spending decisions over the next three years.

“That is why it’s really important that people let us know whether the approach we have been taking is the right one.”

Questionnaires can also be viewed on the council’s website http://www.calderdale.gov.uk/council/consultations/council-budget/

n Do you think the council got it right? Tell us your views by emailing stephen.firth@brighouseecho.co.uk