Safety group could close

A road safety group who has campaigned in making the highways safer in Brighouse for over 60 years could stop after having their funding cut.

Thursday, 3rd September 2015, 12:00 pm
Brighouse Road Safety Committee vice-chair, Pat Oates and chairperson Ann Rutherford

Members of Brighouse Road Safety Committee have said they will stop after the way they have been treated by Calderdale Council.

In 2013 the group had their funding cut but it was reinstated the next year.

However, since the change in the running of the Council in 2015, their £300 funding has been axed once again.

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Chair person Ann Rutherford said: “We put a lot of work into going to the galas and campaigning at Christmas with our drink drive campaign. We feel the way we are being treated is a disgrace.

“Unless things improve we are not going to carry on.”

Pat Oates, vice chair of the group asked Cabinet members in June whether funding will continue.

However, Paul Butcher, Calderdale’s Director of Public Health, responded and said:

“My understanding is that Highways and Engineering funded local road safety activity through their Road Safety Budgets but as part of the budget cuts back in 2012 the amount reduced substantially. The situation regarding funding has not altered indeed there has been an estimated 37% reduction in funding over the past few years.

“At this stage I do not expect us to be able to fund your meetings through the public health budget however it is my understanding that there are monies available at the ward forum level to support community initiatives.

“I am keen to establish good working arrangements with the Brighouse and Elland Road safety groups moving forward. I am led to believe that you have been successful in the past in securing sponsorship for your campaigns and ideally would want to work with your group to ensure that messages are co-ordinated and activity is focussed upon those groups and areas most at risk.

“This collaboration will support future funding opportunities to be accessed from national and regional sources.”

Brighouse councillors Scott Benton and Howard Blagbrough said they were very concerned with situation, stating that members are volunteers and don’t claim expenses. They added that ward forum money is a one off payment to individual groups.