Minister agrees to talks over Calderdale Council funding

MP Brandon Lewis
MP Brandon Lewis

A Government minister has agreed to talks over the funding of Calderdale Council.

Halifax MP Linda Riordan raised concerns with Brandon Lewis, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

MP Linda Riordan

MP Linda Riordan

She wanted to know what assessment he had made of his department’s reduced grant and urged him to meet with her and a delegation from the council.

Replying to questions in the House of Commons, he said the council had a reduction of 1.5 per cent this year but can now benefit from business rates retention and the new homes bonus.

He accepted the invitation to meet and said he would be asking why the authority put council tax was put up 2 per cent when the Government worked hard to freeze it.

Mrs Riordan said afterwards: “The only thing this Government has frozen is investment in Halifax.

“What we need is an increase in grant to the council to secure investment, jobs and services. That is the key message I will be taking to the meeting.

“A little increase in council tax was the logical thing to do in Calderdale to protect jobs and services.

“The Government’s council tax freeze is in reality a con. Most councils are not in a position to freeze it because Central Government cuts their budgets.”