Where the cuts axe might fall

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SCHOOLS could be called on to provide their own crossing patrols in Calderdale saving the council £250,000 a year.

Until now, Calderdale Council has picked up most of the cost of paying patrol men and women. If the budget proposal is approved, schools will have to pay for staff, possibly from September.

Under the cost-cutting proposals, the amount spent on children and young people in Calderdale could be slashed by about £10 million over the next three years. Everything from mental health services to social needs are facing the axe, unless schools decide to pick up the tab.

Twenty-nine jobs could go as Campus Calderdale and the school improvement service is redeisgned, saving £1.5 million a year, and dozens more jobs could follow as the targetted mental health service, the special educational needs service, the education welfare service and psychology services are reorganised.

Qualified teachers could be withdrawn from children’s centres and the council plans to no longer run projects outside school hours.

A reduction of 35 per cent in the department’s training budget is planned to save £360,000 a year and the number of buildings it uses reduced to save up to £540,000. Home to school transport routes will be reorganised saving £100,000.

On the up side, councillors plan to permanently increase the budget for children in care by £400,000 to help meet increased demand, to put another £411,000 a year into intensive family support to try to prevent children going into care, and spend £165,000 a year more on safeguarding services.

Older people with savings will be hit hardest by changes to the social care budget, which could also lead to the loss of more than 60 full and part time jobs.

Anyone with more than £23,250 in the bank is facing higher charges for help and care at home. The move would save the council £500,000 a year.

Twenty-four jobs are 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.

A comprehensive review of day care and vocational support services is planned.

To cope with the increasing number of older and vulnerable people in Calderdale, the council proposes to set aside an extra £250,000 a year.

The overall changes to the social care budget could save more than £10 million over the next three years.

All 21 libraries in Calderdale could be affected by the council’s spending cuts. A review of where they are, what they do and how they might work better could save £150,000 a year.

The proposed review will also look at opening hours to see if they can be altered to better meet demand. Background reports to council leaders suggest 12 jobs in the library service could go over the next two years.

Up to £200,000 a year could also be saved by reducing the fund for buying new books, CDs, DVDs and other library stock, demand for which is falling.

Charging people more to use the new swimming pools in Brighouse and Sowerby Bridge, along with other leisure centres and sports pitches, could save the council £600,000 a year.

Encouraging local groups or organisations to take over some of the council’s public halls could save £40,000 a year and the council plans to start charging for street trading licences.

Councillors hope to raise an additional £653,000 a year by increasing on and off-street parking charges by at least 10p an hour.

But they could raise thousands more by imposing new charges at Shibden Park and Ogden Water. Visitors might also have to pay to go into the popular Jungle Experience at Manor Heath Park, Halifax.

Calderdale theatregoers could be asked to pay a £1 levy on every ticket.

The charge would apply to the Victoria Theatre, and a 50p increase in ticket prices at Hebden Bridge Picture House is also on the cards. Councillors have been told the move - which could save £100,000 a year - may also lead to a 10 per cent drop in ticket sales.

What do you think about the budget cuts? Let us know your views by emailing stephen.firth@brighouseecho.co.uk