Where’s your wartime spirit?

RESIDENTS are being invited to summon up “wartime spirit” and influence future Kirklees Council services through a series of public meetings.

The authority is reviewing all its spending in anticipation of more funding cuts up to at least 2020.

February’s council budget meeting heard that nothing is safe from the axe – meaning the controversial end for public loos could just be the start.

Kirklees Council leader Mehboob Khan has already warned adult social care and children’s services may be the only things they can afford in future.

Now bosses have launched a campaign called “It’s Time To Talk”, aimed at getting the public involved in those decisions.

Meetings are to be held across North Kirklees next month, starting at St Peter’s Church in Birstall on Tuesday, June 4.

Batley Town Hall is next on Thursday, June 6, followed by Cleckheaton Town Hall on Tuesday, June 18.

The event then goes to Dewsbury Town Hall on Wednesday, June 19, and ends at Northorpe Hall in Mirfield on Monday, June 24.

Ruth Redfern, the council’s director of communities, transformation and change, said: “We need some wartime spirit.

“The council lost a lot of people last year and yet we still managed on the whole to provide the same services.

“Where we didn’t, the community was very shocked and surprised. That tells us they may not be aware of the impact of the cuts.

“Local government has borne the brunt of the cuts and continues to do so. People need to understand that.

“In the next two years we expect there to be more. Unless we approach this now, people will be shocked at what will happen.”

She added that chief executive Adrian Lythgo and finance director David Smith have lobbied the Government not to cut the council’s budget any further.

“You don’t give up until the final hurdle, but you’d be unwise not to prepare,” Mrs Redfearn said.

Places at the public events need to be booked. For more information see  www.kirkleestalk.org.

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