Tough decisions amid budget cuts

Kirklees Council join with Leeds City Council to publish the findings from the first phase of It'sTime To Talk in Leeds. Pictured: Kirklees Director Ruth Redfern during the press conference held at Leeds Civic hall. d309b337
Kirklees Council join with Leeds City Council to publish the findings from the first phase of It'sTime To Talk in Leeds. Pictured: Kirklees Director Ruth Redfern during the press conference held at Leeds Civic hall. d309b337

Council bosses want your help in deciding how services are run in the future.

Around 8,000 people throughout the district have already taken part in a project to get people thinking about the relationship between communities and the council.

Now people will be asked to name the services they would like the council to carry on providing, and which they could take on themselves.

The first round of the It’s Time to Talk project took place earlier this year, involving nine open events across Kirklees and 140 community-based discussions.

Council leaders made it clear that they will be unable to provide the same level of services they have in the past. Council leader Coun Mehboob Khan said: “It is clear that things must change – councils cannot continue to do what they have done in the past, given the levels of cuts in funding being experienced we need to find a new way forwards.”

The council predicts that without change, its entire budget could be eaten up by adult social care and children’s safeguarding alone by 2020.

Ruth Redfern, director of communities and transformation, said people had struggled to understand the complexity of council responsibilities. “Now we’ve explained that, it’s time to decide what the priorities are,” she added.

The final stage of formal budget consultation is planned for October and November.