Lib/Coalition wins Calderdale Council budget vote

Protest outside Halifax Town Hall about proposed council workers sick-pay cuts.
Protest outside Halifax Town Hall about proposed council workers sick-pay cuts.

The Lib\Con coalition won a tight vote on its opposition budget proposals but Calderdale Council workers will still receive sick pay.

Councillors voted 26-23 in favour of the amendments put forward by Conservative Group leader Stephen Baines (Northowram and Shelf) and the Liberal Deomcrats’ Janet Battye (Calder).

At a lively Budget Council meeting, lasting nearly five hours, the Labour cabinet’s own proposals were rejected but Labour was successful with an amendment against the coalitions’s plan to cut the first three days of sick pay to council workers.

Around 40 protestors had gathered outside Halifax Town Hall before the meeting angered by the coalition’s proposal.

Council leader Tim Swift (Lab, Town) presented the cabinet’s budget proposals which included some concessions to the Lib/Con coalition

Councillor Swift said: “This revised budget delivers more resources for cleaning and revised parking but we can not commit to the sick pay proposals.”

The move was welcomed by Coun Baines but he said the coalition plans would revise the controversial parking measures that have been criticised by local businesses and councillors and create eight jobs in the council’s Safer, Cleaner, Greener team.

The meeting had to be adjourned for half an hour after confusion over what proposals were being discussed although Mayor of Calderdale Ann Martin (Lab, Brighouse), chairing the meeting, said: “we’re adjourning while Liberal Democrats and Conservatives get their story straight as their budget doesn’t add up.”

Despite this amended budget was passed after lengthy discussions on sick pay and cuts to neighbourhood which includes the Halifax Central Initiative.

The Lib\Cons successful budget includes £100,000 investment in a Small Capital works for schools and the removal of £37,000 subsidy for a Unison trade union representative at the council.

A further £272,000 will be put into the Economic Task Force while homeowners will now be charged £30 to replace their wheelie bin - up from the current cost of £10.

More reaction in this Friday’s Courier and at