Chance to have your say on council’s budget

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Calderdale Council’s Cabinet has approved budget proposals which include freezing council tax for a second year.

The draft proposals, which were revealed at a Cabinet meeting on Monday at Halifax Town Hall outline the Cabinet’s priorities for the year ahead.

The proposals include providing an additional investment of £500,000 to improve local heritage and cultural assets, to boost tourism and economic growth.

This will be strengthened by a £200,000 contribution to the Economic Investment Fund to promote local job opportunities in tourism and business development.

Leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Stephen Baines, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to freeze council tax for a further year, as we know that anything we can do to help keep bills down will be welcomed. It’s also vital that we do all that we can to help our local businesses. Our proposals will provide additional investment to help create jobs and stimulate growth to support our local economy.

“We will also invest in and protect our historic landmarks which are so important to our residents and which attract visitors from far and wide, providing vital support to our tourism industry.”

The budget proposals cover the next three financial years, from 2015/16 to 2017/18. The council has already consulted on the savings plans for the financial years 2015/16 and 2016/17, as part of the budget process in 2013 and 2014. More public consultation will take place before finalising the plans for 2017/18.

The budget proposals for 2015/16 are available at www.calderdale.gov.uk/budget.

There are many ways in which people can have their say:

l By attending a public meeting - these are at 7pm on January 21 at Hebden Bridge Town Hall within the Ward Forum meeting; at 7pm on January 26 at North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax; and at 6.30pm on January 28 at Mulberry Suite, Brighouse High School Sixth Form Centre, within the Ward Forum meeting.

l You can email budget@calderdale.gov.uk.

l You can write to Budget Consultation, Licence number RTJK-SCKU-XGCL, Town Hall, Halifax HX1 1UJ (no stamp required).

All responses will be considered before the final recommendations are made by the Cabinet on February 9. Final decisions will be taken at the Annual Budget Council meeting on Monday, February 23, at Halifax Town Hall.