Council cuts to reach £100 million by 2017

Halifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall

Calderdale has seen a £100 million cut in council funding since the coalition government came into power in 2010.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet is currently looking at ways it can cut a further £14.5 million from the council’s expenditure which has already seen reductions of £86 million.

Projections outlned in a report to Calderdale Council’s Cabinet suggest that if cuts continue at their current rate, by 2020 there will no council funding provided by central government.

Councillors have said that the cuts have been difficult for the council to absorb and have admitted that they are struggling to find further reductions.

Deputy council leader Scott Benton (pictured) (Con, Brighouse) said: “The first major sticking point is for the financial year 2017/18 where we’ve got £14 million worth of savings to find.

“We’ve already agreed savings in excess of £50 million over the last five years or so.”

The level of cuts which have been required have equalled 33 times the total budget allocated to libraries across Calderdale.

The revelations have angered members of the Labour party who have accused the Government of going too far with its austerity measures.

Councillor Tim Swift, leader of the Labour group on Calderdale Council, said: “A lot of the the impacts of this have been hidden so far - there’s less support for council staff and they are being asked to take on responsibilities that they haven’t necessarily been trained for.

“It’s such a large number to try and get your head around - it’s twice what we spend on care for the elderly.

Halifax Labour MP Linda Riordan (pictured) said: “This is another example of the crippling cuts northern towns like Halifax have suffered since this Government came to power.

“It’s time public services and public sector workers were valued and invested in.

“Instead we have this constant cycle of year-on-year cuts, which does nothing to improve the lives of people across Halifax and Calderdale.

“It’s time Northern towns were made to feel valued not victimised.”

The reductions in funding come at a time when local authorities are seeing an increase in social care costs due to an aging population and an increase in the number of adults with severe learning difficulties.

The report also identifies increased financial pressure from Carbon Reduction Tax and what its authors call “other inflationary pressures”.

According to a recent report by the Office for Budget Responsibility, by 2020 the share of funds handed to the public sector will be lower than it was before the Second World War.

The plans to deal with the proposed cuts will be put to Cabinet on Monday.