Nearly 100 homes in Calderdale have been sitting empty for ten years or more, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
The figures, uncovered through Freedom of Information requests, show that there are over 1,300 homes across Calderdale that have been empty for six months or more. Of these, 278 had been empty for two years or more, 101 for five years or more, and nearly 100 have stood empty for at least ten years.
Despite his claims to be standing up to protect our Greenbelt a freedom of information act request carried out by Calderdale Liberal Democrats has revealed that Craig Whittaker the Conservative MP for Calder Valley has not had any formal correspondence with the Department for Communities and Local Government over the Council's local plan.
Calderdale Council is currently being forced by the Government to find housing sites for nearly 16,000 new homes in its local plan. Any plan that involves building this many houses in the Borough will lead to the loss of greenbelt in places like Greetland, Stainland, Brighouse, Elland and Halifax.
Calderdale Council has backed the Liberal Democrat group’s call for the roll-out of Universal Credit to be halted until the many problems with the scheme are sorted out.
Cllr Pat Allen (Elland) placed a motion on the agenda of the Council Meeting (22nd November) setting out the problems that have dogged the scheme and calling for the government to suspend its roll out until these are sorted out.
Liberal Democrat councillors are urging Calderdale Council to do more to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Recently-released figures show that reports of anti-social behaviour increased by over 13% between 2014 and 2016, and that over 5,500 reports have been made so far this year.
Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr James Baker (Warley) says: “just a few individuals engaging in anti-social behaviour can have a devastating effect on other people and the communities in which they live. The rise in reported incidents over the last three years is very worrying and suggests that there is still a lot of work for the Council, the police and others to do to make sure that people are safe and feel safe.”
Residents of Sowood and Outlane are backing a call for the bus service linking their communities to West Vale to be reinstated. A petition calling for improvements to the bus service has been signed by around 1,000 people and will be presented to Calderdale Council at its meeting on Wednesday (19 July).
Labour run Calderdale Council has taken the decision to close Todmorden's sixth form. As a maintained community school the decision to close a sixth form rests with the local authority.
Recent changes to the government funding of post-16 education mean many schools now receive less money for A Level students. This has lead to the sixth form no longer being viable.
845 3-4 year-olds in Calderdale would benefit from Liberal Democrat plans to triple funding for the early years pupil premium, with gives extra cash to nurseries, preschools and school receptions when they take on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The cash would triple the funding to £1,000 per pupil per year - up from £302 in 2015-16.
This will increase the allocation for Calderdale from around £245,696 to £737,088, and will pay for every disadvantaged child who benefits to receive 570 hours of state-funded early education.
It forms part of a series of policies the Liberal Democrats are announcing ahead of launching their manifesto, with a focus on giving children and young people a brighter future.
- Helping people buy their first home for the same cost as renting, with a new model of ‘Rent to Own’ homes
- Restoring housing benefit for young people
- Creating a discounted bus pass for 16-21 year olds, giving a 66% discount
- Introducing votes at 16 for elections and referendums across the UK
As well as:
- Investing almost £7bn in our schools and colleges
- Doubling the number of businesses that take apprenticeships
- Tripling the early years pupil premium
- Extending free school meals to all primary school students
The Liberal Democrats have announced they would plug funding gaps for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax, in their first major manifesto commitment of the election campaign.
The tax would raise an additional £39m for Calderdale, with £32m for the NHS and £7m for social care each year.
This is the party’s flagship spending commitment and its first major policy announcement for the election. The Liberal Democrats manifesto will also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services in their manifesto.
At least 70% of Brits would happily pay an extra 1p in every pound if that money was guaranteed to go to the NHS, an ITV poll found last October (link).
Liberal Democrat PPC for Calder Valley Cllr Janet Battye said:
"Right now in Calderdale we are seeing urgent operations being cancelled and the elderly being denied the care they need.
"The Liberal Democrats are prepared to be honest with people and say that to secure the future of the NHS we will all need to chip in a little more.
"A penny in the pound would allow us to invest in improving local NHS services and ensuring the elderly receive the care they deserve.
Liberal Democrat PPC for Halifax Cllr James Baker said:
"This Conservative government has left our health and care services chronically underfunded - and while the crisis gets worse they just don't seem to care.
"Under current proposed plans they are even talking about shutting our local emergency Stroke Unit."
"We cannot continue asking the system to deliver more and more, without giving it the resources to do so."
Calderdale Liberal Democrats are urging the Council to make full use of the powers available to it in making a stronger stand against antisocial behaviour.
Community Protection Notices (CPNs) were introduced by the coalition government to streamline actions against antisocial behaviour and can be used more widely than previous approaches.
Yet Calderdale Council hasn't issued a single Community Protection Notice!
Hipperholme & Lightcliffe (Calderdale) result: CON: 60.3% (-4.3) LDEM: 17.1% (+6.8) LAB: 16.5% (-0.5) GRN: 6.1% (-2.0)