Services face axe as budget gap hits £84m

editorial image
0
Have your say

School crossing patrols could be axed and streets left uncleaned under massive spending cuts forced on Kirklees Council by the government.

Council tax is set to rise by almost four per cent to help pay for social care as the local authority faces a budget gap totalling £84m between now and 2019-20.

Funding for services in Kirklees has already been cut by 40 per cent - and it will fall by a further 34 per cent by 2020.

The council’s cabinet met on Tuesday to agree budget proposals to be passed by a meeting of the full council on February 17.

The government has allowed town halls to add two per cent to council tax to help fund social care services.

The “social care precept” will be levied along with a 1.95 per cent rise to increase bills by 3.95 per cent in 2016-17.

A report to the cabinet meeting also sets out a string of proposed cuts to council services.

The council proposes to “review and reduce school crossing patrols across the district,” to save £340,000.

The report said: “Children and young people will be most affected by this service reduction, as will people with mobility impairment.”

The council will also encourage “voluntary clean-up groups” to plug gaps in its street cleaning service to help save £600,000.

The report said: “There will be a visible reduction in standards in most areas with resources being targeted at ‘Hot Spots’, such as town centres, and a more reactive service provided elsewhere.”

The council could also reduce the number of museums it runs from five to three, and cut opening hours.

The report said £530,000 would be saved, more than half the museums and galleries budget.