I like many people have been dismayed at the way in which Calderdale Council tried to introduce their new winter maintenance policy.
This came with the news that the council had to make essential savings within the highways budget and make the service, particularly gritting, more cost effective.
Obviously they neglected to mention that it was Labour and Liberal Democrats who voted, earlier this year, to slash the budget by £500,000.
Now while they would tell you that this was due to national government cutting their funding, which we can all agree has happened, it doesn’t explain why they (over)spent millions on the Piece Hall and the new library. No doubt the new library is very nice and all but was it worth it at the cost of dangerous roads being gritted?
Add to that both the aforementioned parties happily voted against cutting councillor numbers while voting to cut the highways budget. Yes the petition that the Lib Dems are bandying about regarding gritting is what they as councillors voted to cut.
However there has been a change as Coun Collins announced that 200 grit bins had been ordered, from a company in Northern Ireland and being delivered from Brussels, so that sounds cost effective, plus an additional 70 roads added to the “roads to be gritted list”.
So clearly there was extra available in the budget after all, as proven by these additional extras added.
Make no mistake, the council did not need to cut the gritting service, they just made the choice to - a choice instead of their own jobs. Think about that come May.