Labour plans a £1m dip into council coffers to avert cuts

KIRKLEES councillors could use £1m from a reserve fund to avoid making some controversial budget cuts.
The authority’s Labour cabinet suggested a shortterm dip into council coffers at a meeting on Tuesday.
The proposal was contained in a series of budget amendments designed to avoid cuts to community grants and school transport.
The move would also avoid the need to levy charges for the collection of bulky waste items like washing machines.
Officials would then have to find a longerterm solution to the cash shortfall. The idea will be debated at a February 22 budgetsetting meeting.
Labour’s amendments include reinstating the £192,000 community grants fund and not charging for bulky waste removal, costing £318,000.
They are also against cutting help for domestic abuse victims and ending transport to faith schools like Dewsbury’s St John Fisher High.
Officials proposed last week to cut £15.7m from the council’s budget to cope with the public spending squeeze.
Labour’s amendments would cut spending by up to £1m less than that and would be covered by the raid on reserve funds.
Kirklees Conservatives, meanwhile, want to retain the glass collection service and are against any library or children’s centre closures.
They also want Kirklees to accept the Government’s offer of a council tax freeze, which would be funded by a Whitehall grant.

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