Council says: Visit us in Broad Street

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THE council is ready to splash out £300,000 a year to rent space in the new Broad Street Plaza, Halifax, for a one-stop shop.

The Halifax “customer first facility” would provide information and advice on a wide range of council and other services.

Calderdale Council will be asked to sign a 20-year lease on the premises, directly opposite the bus station when it meets on December 7.

At one stage it had been suggested the shop could be situated in part of the Central Library, at Northgate, which is used by about 1,000 people every day of the week.

But councillors intend to build a new library costing up to £12 million on the bottom side of the Piece Hall.

l A freeze has been put on the purchase of new books for Calderdale libraries. The move is expected to save about £120,000 and go someway towards balancing the community services budget.

The latest forecast is that without drastic action, it could end the year more than £400,000 overspent.

According to head of finance Pete Smith, about 40 vacant posts are deliberately not being filled “leading to some pressures and impact on front-line services.”

“Additional pressures include achieving income targets, principally in sports facilities such as Elland Pool and The Ridings, at Ovenden, Halifax, which are likely to reach close to £200,000.”

The council is appealing to the Valuation Office over the rates it is having to pay for the new swimming pools in Brighouse and Sowerby Bridge, and the new King Cross Library.