How Calderdale Council is ranking against other northern local authorities

Calderdale Council is widening the number and type of authorities its performance is compared with, in the year ahead.

Sunday, 11th July 2021, 9:00 am

The council’s Cabinet was considering the annual report for 2020-21, rating its performance with 19 other comparable northern boroughs.

Through the year it receives quarterly updates on progress made – or in some case not – in key areas of the council’s work ranging from childhood obesity to promoting active health, including crime, employment and housebuilding metrics .

Cabinet member for Resources, Coun Silvia Dacre (Lab, Todmorden), said the report highlighted the council was now rated overall fifth of comparable northern authorities by the end of 2020-21, up one place from last year.

Halifax town hall

The COVID-19 pandemic had made it a particularly challenging year so the improvement was of huge credit to staff, Cabinet and the council. “That’s something to celebrate,” she said.

Coun Dacre said the council was ambitious and would soon be broadening the metric to take in more authorities from diffrent parts of the country going ahead.

“Next year during the year we will be comparing with a wider set of authorities.

“That is a sign of Calderdale’s ambition, we are not content with a narrow set of similar councils.

“We are going to be looking wider and comparing ourselves to some even more challenging briefs,” she said.

Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Adam Wilkinson (Lab, Sowerby Bridge) said continuing improvement in two edcuation metrics and reduction in numbers of obesity in key age groups of children was very welcome.

Coun Steven Leigh (Con, Ryburn) wanted measurement criteria to be clearer and said one area of performance of great concern was air quality in parts of Calderdale, considering thousands of new homes were expected to built in the coming years if the council’s draft Local Plan is approved, and these would produce more carbon dioxide emissions.

“How on earth can we make progress with all those extra emissions coming out, mainly in the lower Calder Valley?” he said.

Coun Dacre said the council was ambitious and the estimated 15,000 homes would not all be built at once with each application put forward subject to the planning process.

Leader of the Council, Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town) said the issue was challenging on many levels with the Government having ambitions to build many thousands of homes a year nationally.

Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said many Conservative councils were unhappy at legislation the Government was putting forward regarding housebuilding.