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Street sweepers u-turn

Street cleaner at work in Halifax Town centre.

Street cleaner at work in Halifax Town centre.

Calderdale Council’s cabinet is set for a u-turn over plans to reduce the number of street cleaners in the borough.

Last week the Courier reported that two full time positions were to be lost from the Safer Cleaner Greener team as part of this year’s budget proposals.

However at a cabinet meeting on Monday February 10 council leader Tim Swift said they had rethought the plans in light of public opinion.

Presenting the final proposals before they go to Budget Council on Monday, February 24, Coun Swift said: “We have listened to what people have been saying and have tweaked some of the figures to keep the Safer Cleaner Greener team.

“We hope this shows that we are aware of the concerns of the public and listen to their feedback.

“I also want to make it clear that the original plans would not have affected the Tour de France as they were due to come into force in 2015.”

Cabinet had been criticised by the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives over the plans.

Conservative group leader Coun Stephen Baines (Northowram and Shelf) had said: “Litter strewn streets, uncut grass verges, crumbling walls and dog fouling do not give a very good first impression. Yet Labour wants to cut the service that deals with these issues. Judging by the number of comments we get from residents the work they do is highly regarded and necessary. It gives us a sense of civic pride in our neighbourhood.”

Responding to the changes announced by Coun Swift Liberal Democrat group leader Coun Janet Battye (Calder) welcomed the move but said it could go further.

“I don’t think it goes far enough. I am glad that cabinet has listened although it feels like it’s at the last minute.

“We hope that they would do more and we are thinking about what we are going to bring to Budget Council that may include proposals to increase resources for the Safer Cleaner Greener team.

“It’s a service people need and really value. We have the Tour de France coming and we will see the service at its best.”

 

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