Ideas are being considered to save council cash.

And people still have time to comment on what priorities Kirklees Council should focus on in its budget and how the council can save millions.

After the first phase of talks revealed 52% of people would support a 2% council tax increase, the next phase focuses more on services.

It comes as the council looks to save another £69m in the next three years – in addition to the £83m already saved.

Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for Resources, said: “The response was one of the highest we’ve had in a consultation for a long time.

“It shows the public have got an interest in where we are going and are going on a journey with us.

“835 are happy with a 2% increase in council tax. It also seems as if people are in favour of our growth strategy and looking at council assets.”

He said he hoped the public would respond to the next stage, which goes into greater detail about spending plans and specific service cut backs.

Feedback from phase one ranged from planning issues to the “meaningless survey” which respondents felt led to guided answers.

But there were plenty of ideas submitted by residents for the council to consider, including:

Look at the working day of council staff – early starts and finishes could reduce congestion and electricity costs.

Offer reduced hours to save council jobs; pay cuts for senior staff; review/remove the manager layer below Assistant Director; consider reducing number of councillors per ward from three; consider the future of the mayor.

Sell unused council buildings to developers to turn into accommodation.

Better publicity for volunteering opportunities.

Support vulnerable people so they get full benefit entitlements to raise their income which they spend locally.

Look at the cost of Parish Councils.

Consider wider income generation such as trading/selling services such as HR, training, marketing and communications to the private sector, small businesses and schools.

Charge for using the tip to dispose of unwanted items/garden rubbish.

Reduce retail rent in Huddersfield town centre/lease them to university art/fashion students to sell their work.

Use cheaper paper for the budget consultation instead of glossy coloured brochures.

Scrap the Festival of Light.

 

The second phase is now underway with specific questions to gauge support for ideas such as scrapping the free town bus; changes to school transport and reduced support for foodbanks.

Budget feedback by numbers:

1,678 people filled in a questionnaire – 1,245 online, 298 paper, 35 written feedback.

77% were Kirklees residents; 34% council employees; 4% groups and 1% from businesses.

52% were in support of a 2% council tax rise; 32% wanted no rise; 16% backed a 5% rise.

65% agree the council should see land and buildings.