Calderdale Council has spent £327,000 on empty offices at Dean Clough


Calderdale Council moved out of the offices it was leasing at Dean Clough two years ago, but is still paying £163,500 per year for the space. That means that the Council has paid out nearly one-third of a million pounds for something that is of no benefit for the people of Calderdale.

As the lease has over six years still to run, a further million pounds could well be wasted in the same way. Clearly the Council needs to take action to reduce this wasteful spending or, hopefully, get rid of it altogether.

This also calls into question the wisdom of the Council in entering into long leases that it can’t easily get out of.

Even if the Council’s coffers were overflowing with cash, this would be an unacceptable waste of public money. In these difficult times it is even more intolerable.

The tax-payers of Calderdale and the Council staff who are at risk of losing their jobs over the coming years would be right to be appalled by this wasteful use of scarce resources.

Labour are ducking issue of potholes


One of the major complaints received on the door step are the amount of potholes around the ward and the poor state of highway maintenance. It’s easy for the Council to blame this on the ‘government cuts’ but Labour have just spent £200,000 resurfacing the roads in Hebden Bridge. There is money to spend, they are just choosing to spend it on doing up roads that aren’t in the ward.

Sandbeds Road is in a particularly bad state of repair, I was out with Councillor James Baker surveying its poor state of repair when Mr Burke who lives on the street came out to complain about the Council’s lack of action. We were promised this road would be sorted, instead all we had was a bit of temporary patching that has already come off. This is a well used road outside of a School and  Doctors Surgery, it’s a disgrace that Labour are neglecting our Highways like this.

 What have your Labour Councillors done to try and help with problems like this in the ward? I’m going to be standing for Council in May, and on the side of residents like Mr Burke who pay their taxes, and should expect Calderdale Council to get the basics like looking after our roads right.


Liberal Democrat statement on Calderdale Council Budget

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr Janet Battye (Calder) says: “The Council finds itself in a difficult position as the Conservative government has failed to provide enough funding for flood recovery and has also reduced the government grant the Council is getting. Although we appreciate the challenges the administration has in drawing up a budget in these difficult circumstances we won’t be supporting either the Labour or Conservative budget proposals.

“Locally, the Conservative’s budget proposals to withhold staff sick pay for three days would penalise people who are genuinely ill and result in them coming in whilst sick and spreading diseases. They claim that parking is a ‘basic right’ and we must keep parking charges low whilst proposing to increase charges elsewhere, such as the bulky waste collection fee.

“Labour proposed that everyone ought to pay more Council tax to cover the cost of the flooding. We don’t think it’s fair that people on a low income in Calderdale will have to pay more because people elsewhere in the Borough got flooded. The cost of the flooding should be borne by central government and fair taxation systems where the richest pay most, not local Council tax payers.

“If the Liberal Democrats were running Calderdale Council we would implement a host of energy efficiencies such as switching to LED Street lighting, and improving the energy efficiency of Council buildings. We also think the Council could share more back office functions by moving Council staff and services into community hubs that were shared with other organisations. This could free up funds to invest in resurfacing our roads, gritting services and initiatives to ensuring our streets are free of litter and dog fouling.”

Secret cut to police budgets

Despite assurances to protect the budget the Chancellor is secretly slashing police budgets by over £200 million. Independently elected Police Commissioners will now be forced to raise the additional funds to keep their communities safe by upping council tax.

Buried deep within a ministerial statement the Government today has finally had to admit that it has cut the funding for the police.

Figures released after parliamentary questions also show for example that by 2020 the Nuclear Constabulary, the force guarding vital nuclear power stations, will see a cut in staff of 16%.

Ex Police Chief Brian Paddick said:

“George Osborne promised that there would be ‘no cuts in the police budget at all’ after intense lobbying from us to protect the police budget. Today it has been confirmed that in reality the police will have to deal with a cut of more than £200 million.

“The Government have essentially forced independent PCCs to raise the police precept in order to maintain current spending levels. This just goes to show that you cannot trust the Tories to keep their word or protect those that protect us”.

Council housing plan for Warley ward would see loss of playing fields, parks and part of Moor


Calderdale Council has announced its consultation on the sites its planning to allocate for housing within the Ward. I’ve had a look at the sites that are covered in Warley ward, and if they were to go ahead in the current form we would lose almost every green space in the ward.

I’ve spoken to Councillor James Baker and we are going to be launching a major campaign to save and protect the green spaces within Warley ward. There are plenty of places that you could build in Calderdale that would not result in the loss of playing fields, recreation grounds and children’s play parks. It is unacceptable for the Labour run Council to list these sites as potential housing sites in the current consultation on the local plan.

To illustrate the sheer scale of what is being proposed here is a quick list of some of the sites identified in Warley ward:

Doctors Hill LP1459

Ling Bob Playing Fields Site reference LP0967 – To build 72 houses on the playing fields behind Harewood Avenue, Ling Royd and Rye Lane.

Fountainhead – LP0983 – Another 40 houses

Mount Tabor – LP1440 – 110 houses and LP0872 87 houses.

Pellon Allotments – LP0156 – To build 31 houses on site that is currently uses as allotments.

Roils Head Moor LP1374, LP1458, LP0093 – 97 Houses behind Vicar Park, another 32 by the Reservoir, and a further ‘urban expansion citing a residential capacity of 2862

Sandbeds Park LP1353 – 16 Houses on the Children’s play park.

Warley Town LP0042, LP1276 & more – Land on recreation ground, cricket pitch and Green Hill. 56 Houses on recreation ground, 30 on the Cricket Ground and 47 at Green Hill.

Windle Royd – LP1457 – Urban expansion with a population size of 1762 cited.

If you are as concerned about this as I am, do please respond to the consultation and also sign the petition we have set-up to help protect Calderdale’s green spaces.


Warley Town is surrounded by new housing sites under the plan

Friends of Roils Head Moor

We’ve been talking about this with residents for some time and now it is coming to fruition. So really looking forward to meeting people at the Grace Baptist Church from 10-12 on Saturday 15th August and getting things moving . . . . .