Why Council didn’t spend £4.5m savings on services

A £4.5m underspend could not have been used to save public services from the axe, a councillor has claimed.

Cabinet member for resources Coun Graham Turner (Lab) said the cash is 1.4 per cent of Kirklees Council’s £321m revenue budget. The money is likely to be added to reserves, with the idea that it should be used to cut planned borrowing.

Coun Turner said: “It is not cash we could have used to prevent closures to public toilets as an example.

“But it does allow us to borrow slightly less to deliver our capital plan with the future interest savings that will lead to every year.”

Kirklees Council’s cabinet backed the move on Tuesday. A final decision will be made by the full council next month.

If approved, it would reduce borrowing to pay for capital spending plans by £295,000 a year for seven years.

Cash was saved in areas such as fuel, the welfare fund, strike payments and managing staffing vacancies.

Coun Turner added: “It is a credit to our hard-working staff that they have taken on board our current financial problems. They have worked extremely hard to save money where possible over the last year.

“It makes prudent financial sense to use this money to save on our borrowing costs in future.”

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