Council will need to save more

Cllr Mehboob Khan  stock pic  2005
Cllr Mehboob Khan stock pic 2005

Kirklees Council may be forced to find an extra £20m of savings by 2017.

The council said cuts to the local government budget announced in the Chancellor’s statement in June were “much deeper” than they had anticipated.

The national budget for local government will be slashed by £1.1bn – a cut in the region of 15 per cent rather than the 10 per cent previously announced.

It means Kirklees Council will need to save an extra £7m in 2015/16 and a further £13m if this pattern is replicated in 2016/17.

Kirklees Council has already seen its budget reduced by 40 per cent – £22m of savings had to be found this year alone. Sports funding in the district was badly affected – Kirklees Active Leisure had its budget slashed by almost half a million pounds and the pot for the Kirklees Youth Games was reduced by £10,000.

In the 2012 budget, it was decided a total of 60 full-time jobs would go in the investment and regeneration department and 82 were axed in the children and young people’s service.

Leader of Kirklees Council, Coun Mehboob Khan, said the latest move will “severely damage our financial planning ability.”

He added: “We would ask the Department for Communities and Local Government to reconsider this move as it will magnify the effect of cuts which are already significant and lead to a greater negative impact on local people who rely on services provided by the council.

“Making cuts of this magnitude will have a detrimental effect on local people and we would ask that the government is much clearer on how much is being cut in real terms .”