The council’s ‘Graph of Doom’

Halifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall
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A DIRE warning has been issued about Calderdale Council having to axe entire services in the wake of continued spending cuts.

Even then, householders will need to get used to an annual 3.5 per cent hike in council tax bills.

“The scale of reductions is very significant and the impact on discretionary services is potentially catastrophic,” according to head of finance Pete Smith.

He told council leaders that by 2029, they will only have enough money to provide adult and child care services.

It would be the end of the line for council run libraries, museums, swimming pools and sports centres, street sweeping, snow clearing, parks and gardens.

Apart from statutory services like refuse collection, planning and road repairs, the only other services it would provide would be those which pay for themselves including car parking, planning and environmental health.

The council’s interim chief executive Gordon Mitchell said the squeeze on council finance was even more acute than the ‘Graph of Doom’ drawn to show the real effects of spending cuts.

“We need to be up front and admit we cannot provide all the services that people want - the council has rarely considered stopping services but that must be the next step.”

Mr Mitchell said the cabinet was looking to work more closely with other West Yorkshire councils and jointly commission services.

“We need to be clear about where the council makes a difference, then we can make informed choices.”

It is almost 40 years since Calderdale Council was set up and leaders are now asking: Does it have a future?
Resources panel chairman Coun John Beacroft Mitchell said: “We are facing a step change in the role of local government.
“It is no longer about trimming here and there - we need to grasp the nettle and decide what the council is for.”
Spending has already been reduced by £40 million and by 2017 it will be spending £84 million a year less than it did in 2010.
The number of full time employees has fallen 20 per cent in 30 months.
Labour leader Tim Swift said the council was still doing many things which were not statutory.