Labour calls for imaginative Calderdale Budget

Government grant increase of 4.5% over the previous year means a lower increase in council tax and improvement in services might be possible

Friday, 11 January 2008

The Labour Government’s grant settlement for Calderdale this year gives the Council the opportunity for an imaginative and creative budget settlement, Calderdale Labour leader Cllr Tim Swift has told the Hebden Bridge Web.

Cllr Swift says: “The Government grant settlement for Calderdale this year shows an increase in grant of 4.5% over the previous year. That’s a much better figure than the Council was expecting when early predictions were made in October.

“Up until now, the Council has been assuming that the Council Tax would have to go up by 4.8% in April. Given the increased Government grant, there is every reason to ask whether it would not be possible to consider a lower increase whilst still having the opportunity to address urgent local service needs.

“Labour will be waiting with interest to see how the Cabinet propose to use this opportunity in their budget proposals, and we will be bringing forward our own budget priorities during the consultation period in early February.”

Labour has also welcomed a further increase in real-terms funding for local schools. “The funding grant for schools is fully ring-fenced”, he explained. “Next year the total grant for Calderdale schools is also increasing by over 4%, which means a real increase in the resources available for every child and young person in a local school.”

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