Council seeks £55m cuts

CALDERDALE Council is looking to cut its budget by £55 million over the next three years.

The council’s cabinet has described its £180 million budget for 2012/13 as “The right choice in hard times.”

The proposals have gone out out to public consultation and will be debated at the council budget meeting on February 27.

Proposals include a 10p rise in parking charges in 2014 and cutting museum opening hours from November.

Reducing cash collection office opening hours, imposing a £10 charge for replacement wheelie bins and scrapping Christmas lights, unless a sponsor can be found.

Up to 63 jobs could go in 2014 through the closure of children’s centres at Wellholme Park, Brighouse, Field Lane, Rastrick, New Road, Sowerby Bridge, Todmorden and Elland.

The number of school truancy officers could be cut from 13 to four, saving £240,000 by 2014.

But the council has decided to earmark an additional £500,000 for protecting front line services for vulnerable adults and an additional £2.5 million for children in council care. There will be an additional £70,000 to help voluntary organisations threatened with losing their grants.

Deputy leader, Tim Swift said the spending plan has been put together in the most challenging of circumstances.