Area committees saved after political battle

FUNDING for community groups via area committees has been reinstated in a draft council budget for the coming year.

Kirklees Council area committees and the £291,000 pot they control were set to be axed from April 1.

An outcry followed as cash for everything from Christmas lights to children’s events and the Cleckheaton Folk Festival could have been under threat.

Lib Dems proposed an amended budget in December which was backed by councillors from all parties.

Now the Labour cabinet have agreed to keep the seven area committees, which cost about £140,000 annually to run.

Coun John Lawson (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton), who proposed the motion, said: “We’re delighted the cabinet has listened to us.

“Area committees allow us to do things in our communities and I think the cabinet mis-judged the role they can play on the ground.

“There’ll no doubt be further discussions, but we’ll be arguing all areas need access to local decision-making and funding without exception.”

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