Details of huge cuts revealed in Kirklees

LIBRARIES, markets and gritting are just some of the services facing big cuts locally.

Kirklees Council has revealed how it plans to save £80m in the next four years.

It has said only £30m of this can be saved by efficiencies, so it has ‘no choice’ but to cut front-line services too.

In a series of documents explaining where savings could be made, the council says it will review the affordability of all libraries and possibly get communities to help run them to cut costs.

The council plans to cut the spending on support for children in need and gritting roads in winter.

It suggests reducing the service offered by children’s centres, asking them to concentrate on providing for the families in greatest need.

It will consider keeping council parking charges at the same level to boost local trade – but this would mean it could no longer afford to give free parking to the disabled in its car parks.

The council would plant fewer flowers in our parks and open spaces and consider closing some public toilets.

It will also reconsider its subsidies for local markets, concentrating its money on those in Dewsbury and Huddersfield.

The public are being asked for their opinions on the ideas being put forward, before councillors decide where exactly the axe will fall.

Anyone wanting to add their thoughts to the public consultation can email consultation@kirklees.gov.uk.

The council has also set out a number of ways it can run more efficiently.

Redundancies and a restructuring of senior management is expected to save money, as is a new IT system and the closure of all but one housing office.

The council also says it owns too many buildings so it will reduce the number of offices it runs. It will consider selling off buildings and land to the community.

Adrian Lythgo, chief executive of Kirklees Council, said: “There is no escaping the fact that all councils are having to make major decisions about the way they spend dwindling resources.

“These are unprecedented times in local government. The cuts in funding are very significant and are going to have an impact both on the way we operate and the way we support communities.

“Today we are publishing an overview of options which are up for discussion. As they are not firm plans, the figures are very much subject to change.

“But cutbacks are unavoidable – and, in some cases, they are being forced on us very quickly – so councillors will face some tough choices over the next few weeks.”

via SpenboroughGuardian.

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