Council Overspend Means More Cuts to Come


concept photo of wasted money pouring down the drain

News that Calderdale Council is projected to overspend its agreed budget by £5.3million means even more cuts in spending may be needed next year says Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr James Baker (Warley).

“As if the state of local government finance wasn’t bad enough, this just makes things much worse” said Cllr Baker. “Even before taking this overspend into account, the Council was looking at having to cut its spending by £3million in the next financial year and £6million in the years after that. And that’s after increasing the Council Tax by nearly 2%, plus 3% for social care. These are the maximum increases allowed by the government, so spending is going to have to come down”.

“Every pound overspent this year means a further pound is going to have to be cut from next year’s budget in order to balance the books. That means a possible cut in council spending of £8million next year.”

“This is on top of the millions of pounds already cut from Council spending over recent years.”

“Of course, we don’t know what will be included in the Chancellor’s budget later this month. Things could improve, or they could get worse. With a weak government in place that is preoccupied with other matters, I’m not convinced that the financial position of local government is high on their agenda. It should be, though, because of the vital services it provides in every community.”

“Labour councillors wanted to lead Calderdale Council, so they are going to have to show some leadership and get this overspend down as well as making significant reductions in spending over the coming years” said Cllr Baker.

Remembrance Sunday Services Across Calderdale


Remembrance Sunday Services accross Calderdale

Bailiff Bridge                        10.45 am        Assemble at the Memorial Garden, Bailiff Bridge

11.00 am        Service and wreath laying.  Councillor D Kirton


Brighouse                            3.00 pm          Service of Remembrance in St Martin’s Parish

Church, Brighouse followed by wreath laying service in Ryding Park. Councillor H Blagbrough


Elland                                    9.25 am          Assemble at John Street, Elland

9.35 am          Procession leaves for Hullen Edge War

Memorial.  After the service at the War Memorial the procession reforms in Hullen Edge Road where the salute will be taken before proceeding to Bethesda Methodist Church, Elland for the Remembrance Service. Councillor P Allen


Greetland                              12.30 pm        Service of Remembrance at the Greetland War Memorial, Clay House, West Vale. Councillor C Pearson


Halifax                                   10.05 am        Assemble at the Town Hall, Halifax.

10.20 am        The Parade leaves the Town Hall.

10.45 am        Cenotaph Service and Act of Remembrance.

11.15 am        Remembrance Day Service, Halifax Minster.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Calderdale


Hebden Bridge                   9.45 am          Assemble in St George’s Square, Hebden Bridge.

10.00 am        Process to the Memorial Gardens, New Road

10.45 am        St James’ Church for Service of Remembrance

Deputy Mayor of Calderdale, Councillor J Scullion


Illingworth & Bradshaw    9.45 am          Service in St John’s Church, Bradshaw

11.00 am        Wreath laying ceremony.

Councillor L Lambert

Luddenden Foot                1.45 pm          Meet at the Civic Centre

2.00 pm          Act of Remembrance in Holmes Park

Deputy Mayor of Calderdale, Councillor J Scullion


Mytholmroyd                       2.00 pm          Assemble at Elphaborough Close, Cragg Road.

2.15 pm          Process to the Memorial Gardens

2.45 pm          Service in St Michael’s Church, Mytholmroyd

Mayor of Calderdale, Councillor Ferman Ali


Northowram                                    10.30 am        Service in St Matthew’s Church, Northowram.

11.00 am        Wreath laying ceremony within the church.

Councillor S Baines


Ovenden & District            9.45 am          Meet at St George’s Church, Lee Mount

10.00 am        Service and wreath laying ceremony in St George’s                                                                            Church. Councillor B Smith


Rastrick                                9.50 am          Assemble at St Matthew’s Church, Rastrick

10.00 am        Service in St Matthew’s Church, Rastrick.

Followed by wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph

Councillor C Pillai


Rishworth, Ripponden     9.00 am          Assemble at Rishworth War Memorial for

and Barkisland                                           service at 9.15 am. Process to Ripponden for

10.10 am        Service of Remembrance at the War Memorial.

Process to St Bartholomew’s Church for

10.30 am        Service of Remembrance.

12 noon         Assemble outside the church gates at

Christ Church, Barkisland.  Process to the

War Memorial at Saddleworth Road.

12.15 pm        Service of Remembrance at Barkisland War Memorial. Councillor G Carter


Shelf                                      10.30 am        Assemble at Witts car park

Parade to Memorial Gardens.

10.45 am        Short service with wreath laying then proceed

to Bethel Chapel, Shelf for service.

Parade back to car park for dismissal.

Councillor P Caffrey


Siddal                                    10.30 am        Meet at St Mark’s Church.

10.45 am        Service of Remembrance at St Mark’s Church,

Siddal to include wreath laying ceremony at the                                                                                               war memorial. Councillor M Swift


Southowram                        10.50 am        Meet at the War Memorial at Pinnar Lane,                                                                                              Southowram for service and wreath laying at

11.00 am. Councillor R Metcalfe


Sowerby Bridge                 10.30 am        Assemble at Bairstow Mount, Sowerby Bridge.

10.40 am        Parade leaves for service at the War Memorial

Crow Wood Park.

Councillor D Foster


Stainland                              2.50 pm          Meet at the War Memorial for Service of

Remembrance. Councillor M Greenwood


Warley                   10.45am                          Outdoor Remembrance Service led by Rev. Neal of St. John’s Church –  Councillor J Baker


Todmorden                          9.30 am          Church Service in St Mary’s Church, Todmorden

10.30 am        Assemble in Stansfield Road, Todmorden.

10.40 am        Parade to the Remembrance Gardens for wreath

laying and service at 11.00 am

Councillor S Press



Calderdale Bonfire Night Events 2017


Saturday 4th November

Mount Tabor, New Inn

Bonfire lit at 6pm, firework display at 7pm. Entry free (donations towards Mount Tabor Community Caring Association). Food and refreshments available.

Elland Round Table, Hullenedge Park, Elland

2 Firework Displays, HUGE Elland Bonfire Fire, Dance Display Team, Food Stalls, Hot Drinks, Cakes Novelties & Sweets, Fairground Rides, Games, Stalls, Washroom Facilities, Music & PA

Times 5.30pm – Gates Open! 6.00pm – Children’s Firework Display 6.10pm – Hellfyre Magpies – Dance Display Team 6.30pm – Lighting of the Bonfire 7.15pm – Main Firework Display

£5 Adults, £2.50 (under 12s) pay on entry, cash only.

Northowram Sports & Activity Club Bonfire

THIS YEAR IT’S TICKETS ONLY – reducing the crowds and providing a better experience. Tickets are available 2 weeks prior to the event from:-

    • the NSAC Clubhouse Fridays from 6pm onward or Saturdays from 4pm
    • Towngate Stores, Northowram.

Ticket Prices (NO TICKET NO ENTRY.)

    • Adult £5
    • Family Ticket £10 incl. up to 3 children (under 16’s free only when accompanied by a paying adult)


Doors will open at 5pm followed by the bonfire being lit at 6pm. The firework display will start at 7pm. There will be a live band ‘The Surge’ between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.

There will be a large gazebo and various small ones housing BBQ, beers, different gins and vodka’s, hot food and drinks and stalls with sweets, cakes and toys. This will be a great family event with a spectacular firework display. For further information email

The Moorlands Fireworks Party and Fire Show

This year’s fireworks party at The Moorlands Inn will include a Game of Thrones themed fire show. There will be lots of entertainment for all the family throughout the evening. For further details and ticket information click here.

Sunday 5th November

Bonfire Night at the Hinchliffe Arms

Church Bank Lane, Cragg Vale, HX7 5TA

Fun & games from 3pm onwards (including hook a duck, coconut shy, skittles), bonfire, firework display, vintage DJ, local ales, BBQ, hog roast, veggie street food, toffee apples, stalls, kid’s pumpking carving competition (brng your carved pumpkin to be judge at 6pm). Everybody welcome!

The Malthouse, Rishworth

Oldham Road, Rishowrth, HX6 4QB

6pm Bonfire 7.30pm fireworks, with Food, bar & Music. Adults £3 advanced tickets or £5 on the night. Kids under 10 FREE entry.

Thursday 9th November

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Fireworks Display

This is a popular event with a stunning fireworks display, hot food and drinks, a raffle and sweet and refreshment stalls. You can find more information by clicking here.


If you have an event that you would like me to advertise just post it in the comments and i’ll add it to this blog post.

Open letter to Craig Whittaker MP on local plan

Dear Craig Whittaker MP,

In recent meetings between party political leaders on Calderdale Council the Deputy Leader of the Conservative group Councillor Baines stated to me that the Conservative group is opposed to the local plan currently out for consultation, and that they would prefer it if the Government stepped in to do the local plan for us.

The Government has also restated its intention to step in and produce plans for Councils that do not produce one in its recent housing white paper. In addition the Secretary of State for Local Government Sajid Javid MP addressed the Local Government Association conference recently, criticising Council’s that had not agreed local plans.

Calderdale Council is in no overall control and the Conservative group’s stated opposition to the local plan decreases the likelihood of us agreeing a local plan at full Council in December. If the Council doesn’t agree a local plan, then at some stage the Government would step in and produce one for us.

I’m aware you have recently arranged a series of public meetings across the Borough where your opposition to building on Greenbelt land has been stated. With that in mind can I ask: ‘Have you been able to get an assurance from the Secretary of State that if the Government were to produce our plan, it would contain no house building on land currently classified as Greenbelt? Can I also enquire, if the Government were to produce a plan for us, how many houses would they make provision for in the local plan’?

Yours Sincerely,

Councillor James Baker

Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Calderdale Council.

June & July planning applications for Warley Ward

Local Plan – New Map of Housing Sites Now Available

On Monday the 19th June the Labour cabinet that runs Calderdale Council agreed to put the local plan out for a six week Consultation. The local plan will provide a framework for development up until 2032. The government requires the Council to find the spaces for 1,000s of new homes. If we don’t determine where they go locally the Government will step in and do it for us (The local Conservative group  position is that they would prefer the Government to determine where the new housing sites go). This Consultation was due to launch on Monday 10th July, but has been delayed as it has been called into scrutiny. It should however launch in the next couple of weeks.

As soon as the Consultation goes live it ought to be available on the Council’s Planning Consultation Portal. Residents will then have six weeks to let their views known on the plan and any of the housing sites contained with in. You can view the map of all the sites in Calderdale here –

In order to make it easier to see the sites in Warley Ward I have provided a couple clippings from the land allocation map below. I’ve also provided links to the sites, so that you can read the detailed review of each of them and how they have been RAG rated.

In terms of our comments on these proposals, we are pleased to see that a number of sites around Mount Tabor and Roils Head Moor have been taken out of the plans. We ran a campaign to protect the Greenbelt in locations like these and that campaign appears to have been successful. ~However we still have concerns about some of the sites down at Fountainhead Village notably sites LP1607 and LP0983.

Also looking at the plans it appears as if the cricket pitch in Warley Town is listed. Warley Town is a conservation area and the loss of its cricket pitch for housing would be a shame. We assume the club would be able to purchase a new pitch perhaps with the receipts from the sale of this land. There is also a site at the bottom of Paddock Lane which is currently part of the Golf Club. We again make the assumption that if this land were to be used for housing then the Golf Club would have to re-arrange their course, presumably with fewer holes. What do you think of these sites?

Our approach to the local plan will be to let people know about this consultation and encourage local residents to get involved and contact us if they have any further concerns about it.

It is worth considering that if we just oppose the plan outright as the Conservatives appear to be suggesting they might then the Government would step in and do it for us. This might actually lead to even more housing sites, the sites at Tabor and Roils Head going back in, and further loss of Greenbelt. We are minded therefore to try and engage constructively with this consultation, and then decide whether or not to back the plan based on the outcome of that consultation and the extent to which the Council has listened to local residents.


The details on site LP0418 & LP0417 are in:

The details on site LP0968 are in this document –


The details on site LP0983 and LP0984 are in this document –

Why I’m standing to be your next MP


I’m passionate about Liberalism and i’d like to tell you why. My mother brought my sister and I up together as a widowed parent after my father passed away. Despite the difficulty of losing her husband, she studied part-time to get a University degree and to get a better job to support our family. The government gave our family a helping hand with the widows pension, and that enabled her to get a better education and improve all of our opportunities.

It was her example that has taught me that it is possible through hard work and education for people to improve their own lives. It also taught me that sometimes people need a helping hand, and a government that is prepared to give them a leg up so they can then grow to stand on their own two feet. That’s why I am passionate about creating a society with a government that helps individuals to reach their fullest potential.

Following that example I went on to University myself. I studied Holocaust studies as part of my Humanities degree. I can remember one seminar where we that was particularity harrowing. We were sat around in the pub after it, all a bit shocked at what we had just learnt about. I couldn’t believe a civilised society could descend into such inhumanity.

I vowed to myself that I would work to try and prevent such an atrocity happening again. I am a firm believer in the good of the European Union for that reason, it has brought together countries that once fought each other, and it strives to protect the rights and humanity of all people. I am also passionate about protecting individuals and their civil liberties from bullies and state abuses of power.

I want to stand up for a Halifax that embraces Liberalism, that embraces openness and tolerance. The politics of fear and division are on the rise in the US, in France and here in the UK but it doesn’t have to be like that. We can work together to build a positive future based on openness and understanding.

If you feel the same way and want to help me to stand up for these values then please support my campaign.

Widow’s Pension Cuts: Cruel and Unnecessary

The Widow’s Pension is designed to help create security and safety for families when they lose a loved one. But this week it is under attack from a new wave of Government cuts. With less money being paid to widows, widowers and surviving civil partners from April 2017 onward.

The changes will only effect those families who lose a loved one after April 6th 2017.

The new rules will add pressure to families when they’re struggling most. Families who’ve just lost a parent are learning to cope on a single income and with one fewer parent. The previous system helped to ease the financial stress with a ‘parachute payment’ which is now greatly decreased.

Families with a terminally ill parent are facing the worst of it, with many having planned for life under the old system now having to look again at the support they can offer to their children or loved ones.

If you want the Government to change it’s mind and reverse cuts to bereavement benefits then please share this article with friends and family.

If these changes effect you, friends or family you should visit to get support and help.