By KLTV Newsdesk –
Kirklees Council, facing dire financial straits, is poised to receive an economic lifeline of £9.5 million from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) to mitigate its budgetary woes.
This financial relief comes as Kirklees Council grapples with the task of slashing over £47 million from its budget to ensure fiscal stability for the ongoing financial year.
In a bid to stave off bankruptcy and restore fiscal health, the local authority has announced a series of austerity measures. Among these measures are the distressing prospects of reducing its workforce by up to 750 members and the closing of two care homes, at least three leisure centres, and Cleckheaton’s town hall.
Protests against the closures have continued in earnest. Over 200 residents protested against the prospect of the closures at Kirklees Council’s Cabinet Meeting at Huddersfield Town Hall on Wednesday 18 October.
Larger Funding Initiative
The allocation of these vital funds to Kirklees Council is part of a larger initiative by WYCA, which has earmarked a total of £51 million to be distributed across the five councils in West Yorkshire.
In Kirklees, the precise allocation amounts to £9,424,404.
This fund has been calculated based on the respective population of each district, with approximately 433,300 residents calling Kirklees their home.
The full breakdown of funds for each district in West Yorkshire is as follows:
The financial support comes from the reserve of The West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund, dedicated to financing enduring infrastructure initiatives within the region.
Local officials across Kirklees and West Yorkshire have emphasised the necessity of sustained fiscal support from the central government to tackle the fiscal challenges confronting these councils effectively.
This collaborative effort to aid the struggling local authorities underscores the importance of long-term sustainable funding from the central government.
The £51 million funding initiative received unanimous approval during a recent West Yorkshire Combined Authority meeting.
Kirklees Council and other local authorities in the region will closely monitor the distribution and utilisation of these funds to address pressing financial challenges while seeking a path towards stability and sustainable governance.
Speaking on the funds, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Councils across West Yorkshire and beyond are facing the perfect storm of government austerity cuts and high inflation.
“Because of devolution, I’ve been able to work with them to identify this support at a time of need.
“With town halls across the country declaring huge financial deficits, it is only right that regional leaders work together and step in where they can.
“But I am urging the government to stop passing the buck for their mismanagement of the economy and properly fund local government for the long-term”.