Councillors should sacrifice themselves to save public cash.

That’s the surprise suggestion from Kirklees Green party who have called for cuts to the number of councillors.

The party, known for its environmentalism and dislike of waste, wants to slash a third of the elected members in Kirklees.

Each ward would have two councillors instead of three, reducing the total from 69 to 46 councillors.

“The council is being forced to make significant cuts to services and the number of staff to save money,” said leader, Clr Andrew Cooper.

Watch: Kirklees Council explains 2016 budget challenges

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“It is only right that councillors themselves should play their part in saving the council money as funding is slashed by Government still further.

“With the reduced number of councillors and associated cost savings we estimate this will save about £400,000 per year.

“This money can go some way to help maintain the vital local services that people rely upon.

“It isn’t a magic solution but it will make a significant difference to the council’s finances.”

Council leader, Clr David Sheard, said he would look at the suggestion but said it would not help with the council’s finance woes over the next five years as it would not be possible to implement it in time.

Council leader Clr David Sheard

Kirklees Conservative group leader, Clr Robert Light, said the idea had already been proposed by the Tories last year.

“I’m pleased to see the Greens have come on board and are supporting Conservative policies,” said Clr Light.

Lib Dem leader, Clr Nicola Turner, said the increase in workload on councillors needed to be considered.

She said: “Councillors are already having to do more as the council shrinks.

“Most do about 24 hours a week. A lot are retired but for those who have got a job it will be difficult, which could put them off.

Clr Nicola Turner, leader of the Kirklees Liberal Democrat group

“Councillors only get about £12,500. With the best will in the world that’s not a huge amount of money.”

The Greens are also calling for a cut in the number of Kirklees elections from three out of every four years to one in every four years.

READ MORE: Kirklees Council budget crisis: councillors to discuss multi-million budget shortfalls

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Clr Robert Barraclough, who is on the Green’s Budget Working Group said: “General Elections and European Elections are every five years.

“Greater London Assembly Elections are every four years and areas which have County Councils have elections every four years.

“For Kirklees Council to have local elections three years out of every four is not only expensive but it is inefficient.

“For several months of each year councillors who should be working on local issues and problems are having to prepare for and campaign in local elections.

“We propose that Kirklees moves to a four year cycle like many other councils in other parts of the UK.

“This would save around £800,000 every four years."

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