Calderdale could share key services with two new councils under new plans proposed by Tories

Coun Stephen Baines and Coun Robert Light at the press conference at Battyeford Sporting Club, Huddersfield Road, Mirfield
Coun Stephen Baines and Coun Robert Light at the press conference at Battyeford Sporting Club, Huddersfield Road, Mirfield

Calderdale could share key services with two new councils after Conservative leaders announced radical new cost-cutting plans.

Under the proposals announced formally today, Councillors Robert Light and Stephen Baines, leaders of the Kirklees and Calderdale Conservative parties, revealed that Kirklees would be “wiped from the map” and replaced by Dewsbury and Spenborough council in the north, and Greater Huddersfield in the south.

Those two councils plus Calderdale would then come together to share some services, including Children’s Services, Adults, Health and Social Care, Transport Investment, Commissioning and Resources.

The joint councils would also share a Chief Executive and five other directors - four fewer than Kirklees and Calderdale currently have between them. Each council would be separate entity responsible for delivering their own neighbourhood services from their respective Town Halls, and each council would have its own leader and cabinet.

It was also revealed that Calderdale will slash the number of councillors from 51 to 36 to put the number of councillors in line with the new two new councils, and saving Calderdale £166,000 a year.

The number of wards in Calderdale would also be reduced from 17 to 12.

Cllr Baines said that new proposals would save £2.5million a year and that with political agreement and public support, the new system would be in place after the elections in May 2014.

“Myths about Huddersfax of Halifield are completely unfounded,” he said. “The proposals we’re putting forward will benefit all parts of Calderdale with services provided locally, greater accountability and reduced costs. We are regularly asked by the public why we need so many councillors and a Chief Executive, so we’re listening to what the people have told us,” he said