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.