Labour makes case for cabinet

Halifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall

The Labour group on Calderdale Council has pledged to set-up an all-party investment committee if elected to run the council on May 27.

The committee will make decisions on important economic and investment issues across Calderdale - decisions which are currently made behind closed doors by the Economic Task Force, the Capital Programme working party or in private briefings.

Labour have called on the Liberal Democrat group to support their bid to take over the running of the council.

Although the Labour group have the most council members, they don’t have enough councillors to hold an overall majority, and the current administration is a Conservative-led coalition with backing by the Liberal Democrats.

Coun Tim Swift, leader of the Labour group, said his party is in the best position to run the council.

He said: “We’ll be look at bringing in changes to the way cabinet operates, so more things are discussed in the open and the important long-term decisions are made by all the parties.

“The Liberals face a big choice - nationally - a coalition with the Conservatives didn’t do them any good,” he said.

“They have to decide whether to focus on their grassroots and treat issues on their merit - it will hardly be a good start if they vote for a Conservative administration.”

Coun Janet Battye, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said that her party still has a critical role to play on the council.

She said: “What we’re concerned about is that local people get good local services.

“We want to do our bit to make certain that happens - that people are listened to and things are put into action.

“All I can say at the moment is that the political groups are talking to each other.”

Coun Swift stressed the importance of opting for a Labour cabinet, noting that the council likely see more cuts to its budget under the new Conservative government.

He said: “Calderdale is going to face a challenging future, as further cuts in central Government funding are now inevitable.

“For the past nine months, Calderdale has suffered from a Conservative leadership that lacks imagination, has no sense of direction, and has already lost it’s grip on major problem areas such as highways and asset management.”