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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Hebden Royd Budget - Labour and Lib-Dem views

Budget statement by Labour group leader Councillor Dave Young

Labour's Budget for 2012/13 is both responsible and prudent.

In real terms, it will cost the average householder in Hebden Royd an increase of around £10 a year.

The precept charge reflects our election pledge to do as much as we can to redress the balance of the years of cuts and stand-still budgets imposed by Lib Dems in Hebden Royd.

The increase in Community Funding from £60,000 to £75,000 will enable us to fulfil our wish to help many more groups in need of support, particularly the elderly , young people and socially disadvantaged.

There is also money for environmental projects , including new allotments at Sandy Gate and Banksfield.

Our major expenditure - the £81,000 allocated for the Picture House - is a one-off which will reap huge dividends for our community in the years to come.

The Liberal Democrats would have preferred us to take out a loan for the cinema and saddle the Town Council with thousands of pounds worth of debt over a number of years.

However Labour sees the bigger picture and is not afraid to invest in the long-term interests of the people of Hebden Royd.

Budget statement by Lib-Dem group spokesman James Baker

Labour's whopping 25% tax rise for Hebden Royd budget

At Hebden Royd town council's budget meeting on the 11th January Labour, who control the council, imposed a 25% precept tax increase on local residents. Much of the extra funding was sought to carry out work on the recently acquired Picture House cinema. The Liberal Democrats support the improvements t the cinema, but opposed this increase in tax, and instead argued that the extra money desired to subsidise the cinema should come from a Capital works Loan.

This loan could have then been paid back out of money generated by users of the cinema, rather than local tax payers.

Labour have instead decided to saddle every tax payer with a 25% increase in their precept charge. This means residents will have less money to spend on essentials such as their household bills.

The real losers of the budget however were residents of Mytholmroyd, Brearley and Cragg Vale. Funding for Mytholmroyd Station car park was axed as Labour has chosen to use the funds for projects in Hebden Bridge. A request tabled by the Liberal Democrats for funding increased community use of Mytholmroyd Library was turned down.

There will also be little cause for celebrating this budget as no funds were put aside to mark either the Diamond Jubilee or the Olympics. Representatives from our twinned towns had hoped to come and celebrate these historic events with us.

Commenting on the budget, Liberal Democrat Councillor Christine Bampton-Smith said: The Liberal Democrats put forward a sensible plan to fund the Picture House unfortunately Labour went for the easier option of taxing local residents.

Budget Highlights

  • £81,000 for work on the Picture House cinema to be raised by tax on residents
  • £16,000 increase in the council's staffing and management cost
  • Axed funding for Mytholmroyd car park
  • Refused works to improve Mytholmroyd Library
  • Denied celebration for historic Diamond Jubilee or Olympics

See also: Budget breakdown

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