Rates freeze for all borough residents but budget to be cut

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Householders have got a rates freeze for the next financial year, but Calderdale Council is calling on the public to help slash its budget.

The authority announced a council tax freeze for 2014/2015, but due to Government cuts says it expects to have its budget cut by £33 million by 2017.

Calderdale is now holding a series of public meetings across the borough for residents to see the full budget proposals for the year ahead and have their say on potential service cuts.

There will be a meeting for upper Calder Valley residents from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday, February 4, at Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

Leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift, said: “Our budget proposals are driven by affordability and fairness. They will help us to deliver our priorities: stimulating a strong business economy; tackling youth unemployment and building resilience in our communities. We are ambitious for Calderdale but we recognise the need to make the best use of public money.

“We know that household budgets are being squeezed at the moment, with the increase in the cost of living, and that any help which we can give to keep bills down will be very welcome.

“We have been able to freeze next year’s council tax at the current rate by making sensible savings over the past three years through the innovation, hard work and improvements in efficiency introduced by our staff. This has been vital in allowing us to manage the very challenging reductions in government funding. However, we are very aware that our grant from government will be cut from £45.1 million next year to potentially £26.7 million in two years’ time. With uncertainty about the three year settlement, we need to be prudent and continue to think long term so that we can minimise the effect on services to local people.”

For more info, go to www.calderdale.gov.uk/budget.