Letter: Fury at council penny pinching

Labour is once again showing its true colours. Having overspent on recent projects in Halifax it is now penny pinching everywhere else to try and make ends meet. Local people are furious.

The regions have always been starved at the expense of Halifax despite the council’s mantra ’Everyone Different Everyone Matters’, and emphasis on Locality.

The Labour cabinet has doubled the prudential borrowing from £469k to £844k. That will put two per cent on our council tax next time. Once again it is residents who will have to pay.

Car parking charges are being increased and reintroduced to balance the books. In Todmorden, if I go into the market to buy a custard tart at £1.20 it will cost me £1.80 in real terms as parking there is now 60p an hour. That puts shoppers off.

In West Vale the car park I use at the cross roads when I want to walk my dog in Clay House Park won’t be free anymore.

This was vital to improve the economic life of the centre of West Vale that is finally and slowly on the up.

People will go instead to supermarkets to shop where parking is free.

In Luddenden Foot we are threatened with the loss of Station Road car park at present leased by Calderdale for £300 pa. This is vital to the functioning of the LF community and along with Holmes Park are the only two assets people get for their money.

The council is re-evaluating its estate and off-loading where possible, but this should not include essential sites necessary for those communities to function properly.

I have asked that ward councillors are consulted before any final decisions are made. It is taxpayers who pay council officials wages and that should be respected.

Recently the car park next to Halifax Town Hall has been open to residents parking on Saturdays, but it costs £1ph. The Town Hall is the people’s building and charges should not be made there.

The council needs to get back to basics and ensure they are in place before they are designing grandiose projects that are not essential to our well being. There are big threats to our space with the Local Plan being discussed at present and resulting traffic that will engender. We want the quality of our lives to go up, not down in Calderdale, so Calderdale Council be careful what you plan for.

I received a schedule for procurement of adult health and social care services running into millions and millions of pounds.

I hope that someone has gone through this with a fine tooth comb because at present the safer cleaner service with an operating budget of £4.3m is struggling to find savings of £200,000 next year and £400,000 the following year. This department has done a great job keeping our parks and streets tidy and presentable, but is now struggling. You may have noticed bins full of rubbish for several days before being emptied, and in places, dirty streets. This service is a basic requirement and should not be stretched to and beyond its limits. The workforce is at an all time low because they cannot deliver the service they feel proud of.

For starters, if the council wants to find money it could stop spending over £1m annually on outside consultants it doesn’t need when officers are perfectly capable of doing the job themselves.