Liberal Democrat Budget Amendment

23 Feb 2022

This year for Calderdale's budget Council we will be submitting an amendment to the Labour's cabinets proposals. Our amendment includes the following proposals

  • Creating a new affordable warmth insulation scheme to tackle rising bills and the climate crisis
  • A new innovative approach to tackling litter and fly-tipping
  • Expanding redevelopment schemes in North Halifax to cover a wider area
  • Introducing a real-time air pollution monitoring system
  • Scrapping the evening parking charges across Calderdale

We would achieve these areas of growth by

  • Altering planning growth to reflect recruitment difficulties in sector
  • Crowdfunding
  • Commercialisation of Town Hall Tours
  • An alternative to children's residential care
  • Adoption of Committee system and review of Councillor allowances
  • Commercialisation transformation of Manor Heath Jungle Experience

Each of these proposals comes with an accompanying background document that you can view and download in our budget pack. We will update these to include Head of Finance comments, and equalities assessments once these have been completed by officers of the Council.

Commenting on these proposals Councillor James Baker, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group said

"People face a cost of living crisis and rising fuel bills. The Conservative Government has scrapped green home schemes leaving some of the poorest people in fuel poverty. We believe Calderdale Council must do more to tackle this issue and help people to reduce their bills by insulating more homes."

"We have also listened to local businesses who are complaining about the impact of increased evening parking charges on their businesses. Our proposals listen to what residents in Calderdale have been telling us on the doorsteps. For example time and time again we hear how the impact of litter and fly-tipping is spoiling people's enjoyment of their local environment."

"We work hard all year round in the areas we represent, and these proposals represent the concerns residents have raised with us."

"The financial situation the authority faces is still challenging. With rising inflation impacting heavily on the financial outlook of the authority. It's, therefore, a shame that the administration chose to give an extra £150K a year to a large company like Suez for providing a substandard household waste collection. Being tied into that decision meant there are fewer funds to spend on local services. We did explore whether we could remove that funding in our amendment, but were advised by officers that since the decision had been made we were now tied into it."

"We believe Calderdale Council could better mitigate the impact of Conservative cuts to services by making more of an effort to generate an income from some of its tourist assets, and exploring new ways of generating an income. Attractions like the Manor Heath Jungle Experience require investment to turn them into profitable enterprises. Our vision is for a 'Blue and Green' Planet attraction where residents and visitors could enjoy exploring fauna and flora from around our planet, and learn more about nature, conservation and sustainability."

"We need to increase and improve our offer to visitors. The Town Hall should be opened up to visitors to explore our unique culture, history and heritage. Proposals like Crowdfunding for community projects represent our attempts to find more ways to get funds to spend on projects that would improve our communities. We would urge the administration to implement previous ideas we have put forward such as a 'community lottery' for Calderdale. We need to empower communities."

"Finally we believe that the fiasco over the decision to build a 'too shallow' pool for Halifax expose the problems with the Leader and Cabinet Decision making process. Sadly major decisions are made by a handful of Councillors in the cabinet (handpicked by the Leader) behind closed doors. Other Councillors in the group are then whipped to support it.

"We would implement a more transparent Council where Councillors from all parties made decisions in public together on politically balanced committees. In doing this we would also save on the extra 'special responsibility allowances' paid currently to members of the cabinet."

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