Council rent rises will top inflation
Jan 31 2008 by Barry Gibson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
THOUSANDS of people in Huddersfield will be hit by above-inflation rent rises.
The Cabinet voted yesterday to increase council house rents by 4.7% from April.
Inflation, measured by the Retail Prices Index, stands at 4%.
The rise means the average weekly rent will rise from £56.42 to £59.07.
Cabinet member Clr Liz Smaje said Government guidelines had forced the council to go with an above-inflation rise.
A host of other housing charges will also go up.
Garage rents will rise from an average of £4.64 a week to £4.82 and parking spaces will increase from £3.39 to £3.52.
The weekly cost of residential caretakers goes up from an average of £5.65 to £5.87, while communal cleaning in tower blocks will increase from £4.32 to £4.49.
Sheltered housing charges will rise from £7.88 to £8.27 for a one-bedroom flat.
COUNCILLORS have refused to pay for a crossing over a busy Huddersfield road.
Residents petitioned Kirklees for a crossing at the top of Trinity Street.
But the council decided not to pay for a crossing near the junction with Cedar Street.
Cabinet member Clr Martyn Bolt advised residents at the meeting that the proposal had not met the criteria for further action.
But he recommended that they ask the council’s local area committee to pay for the crossing instead.
Greenhead ward councillor Mehboob Khan spoke out against the decision.
He said: “I normally accept the decision of highways officers, but in this case I think they are wrong. We have to take into account that the council will invest £5m in Greenhead Park, which will encourage more traffic to the area.
“If there was a crossing at that site it would be used and it would be popular.”
YOUNG drivers have been given extra help by the council.
Half of those killed in traffic accidents in Kirklees in the past four years have been under 30.
The Cabinet decided to invest £150,000 in road safety measures.
The award-winning Passplus scheme, which helps young drivers who have just passed their test, will be expanded. Money will also be spent on anti-speeding campaigns.
The proposal came from the council’s Lib Dem group.
A TOWN’S streets will be improved.
The Cabinet voted to spend £1.75m on Heckmondwike’s roads.
Footpaths on Market Place and Queen Street will be widened and George Street will be closed to through traffic.
There will also be new street lighting, paving and seating.
THE council has announced a predicted underspend of £9.2m for 2007/08. Cabinet member for finance Clr David Hall said this was because of efficiency savings. In 2006/07 there was a surplus of nearly £16m.