Several councillors have raised issues in the Echo in the past few months about 20 mph speed limits.
I am really pleased that there is now cross-council agreement that we need to do more to reduce traffic speeds. That’s why Labour has committed the Council to carry out a full consultation on this issue.
There are three options. Over the past three years, Calderdale has introduced 20 mph zones in a small number of areas. This is quite a lengthy and costly process – should we simply continue with this approach? Others are suggesting that we should target 20 mph limits outside schools. There are problems with this, not least in being clear what is meant. Are we talking simply about the roads directly adjacent? If so, the evidence is that the risk of accidents is spread throughout the route to school - so this may not be the best way of protecting children. That’s why our preferred option is to introduce a default 20 mph limit in residential areas. We believe this will be clear, understandable and effective. Now it’s up to you. Pick up a leaflet in the library or have your say on the Council website, and have your say.
Let’s combine West Yorkshire to help generate much needed jobs
Calderdale must work together with our West Yorkshire neighbours to generate jobs and economic growth.
That’s why we are fully behind plans to set up the West Yorkshire and York Combined Authority. This will help bring in more funding for economic investment. It will mean more decisions being made locally, by the councils working together, instead of being taken by Ministers and civil servants in Whitehall. And it will help to unlock the money to pay for major improvements in transport. But we are not going to let this undermine our own identity and interests. Our economic and social links with Leeds are vitally important. But so too are our connections across the Pennines with Manchester. That’s why we are also continuing to talk to Greater Manchester councils about how we work with them. Our location at the heart of the M62 corridor gives our businesses access to a potential market of eight million, and it’s up to all of us to make sure we can capitalise on that.
It’s time to ‘Grow Your Future’
We don’t just need local jobs – we need to make sure our young people can fill them. Two weeks ago, the Labour Cabinet committed the Council to an ambitious target – “Double 2020” – aiming to ensure at least 4040 Calderdale people complete apprentices by 2020.
And we are starting by increasing the number of apprenticeships within the Council – as well as launching a new community task force for young people who are not ready for a formal apprenticeship. I’d urge anyone interested in supporting young people, businesses looking for help in setting up apprenticeships, and young people themselves, to contact our “Grow Your Future” team to find out more.