Council savings to rise to £84 million by 2016

Halifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall

Calderdale Council is spending £40 million a year less than it used to.

During the next three years, it expects savings to rise to £71million and £84million - nearly a third of its budget - in five years time.

The council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy for 2013/14 to 2015/16 warns that it will need to make some tough spending decisions in order to meet future financial challenges.

It says that major changes to government policy and the lack of a three-year financial settlement from the government means the council faces more uncertainty than ever as it prepares to set its budgets for 2013/14 and beyond.

The council’s Labour leader Tim Swift, has issued a stark warning that reduced budgets will have an impact on services.

“Anyone who thinks that we can deliver these levels of savings without a severe impact on services to local people is fooling themselves,” he said.

“While the Council has been doing all it can to try to preserve front line services, we are facing an extremely difficult situation, with drastically reduced budgets.

“Clearly, this is bound to have an impact on services right across the Council. . . and this is at a time when our communities face a whole range of issues, from tackling youth unemployment and keeping our children and young people safe, to making sure that our older and more vulnerable residents receive the care they need and deserve.”

The council’s deputy leader, Janet Battye, says the council needs to make the best use of the resources it has.

“It is even more important that we take a strategic view about the role of the Council, the needs of local people and how services are provided.

“We’ve consulted with and listened to the views of local people over the last two years and we’ll continue to take account of this. “In Calderdale, we’ve a good track record of working closely with our partners and local community groups, and want to make sure that, together, this continues for the benefit of local people. I’ve no doubt that there are even harder times ahead and this underlines the value of making certain that we make the best of the resources that are available to us.”

The Council will present its Draft Budget proposals for consultation in January, with the Final Budget presented to Budget Council at the end of February.