A SERIES of public meetings will take place as part of council talks with residents about the future of the authority.
Kirklees Council has launched the It’s Time to Talk consultation starting tomorrow, aimed at discussing its future role and finding out how community groups can help the council achieve its aims.
The Examiner revealed last week the consultation would begin and while it is not a budget consultation there will be a “root and branch” review later this year.
And as they prepare for a budget cut of around 40% they need to begin exploring ways to offer services differently.
Clr Mehboob Khan, council leader , said: “Local government across Europe and the UK is facing massive financial pressure but here in Kirklees we don’t intend to be caught in the headlights when the cuts impact and will make a once in a generation transformation of the council, formed in 1974, into one which will meet modern challenges.”
More than 1,000 Kirklees staff lost their jobs in recent years and Clr Khan warns they will “continue to see a significant reduction in staff numbers at the council”.
He added: “We are ultimately losing 40% of our income and, if that happened to you and your family, you would sit down and talk frankly about the way forward: that is what we all need to do together.
“Savings have been made within the council, but there is a point where you cannot cut any more.”
Among the topics to be discussed are finance, a focus on successful community working and future change.
“This is not about doing things on the cheap,” Clr Khan said.
“We need to use the expertise of community groups who already make a difference and the ideas of other residents who could do the same: local people helping to improve their own area.
“Equally, we are not asking people to do our job for us.
“We have been open about the need for this conversation: the facts are that more adults than ever before will need social care in the future; income will fall due to the economic climate and we must always keep in mind our priority of tackling poverty across Kirklees.”
PUBLIC CONSULTATION DATES
June 4: 7pm to 9pm, St Peter’s Parish Church, Kirkgate, Birstall.
June 6: 7pm to 9pm, Batley Town Hall, Market Place.
June 10: 7pm to 9pm, Marsden Mechanics, Peel Street, Marsden.
June 11: 7pm to 9pm, Phoenix Centre, Dunford Road, Holmfirth.
June 18: 7pm to 9pm, Cleckheaton Town Hall, Bradford Road.
June 19: 7pm to 9pm, Dewsbury Town Hall, Wakefield Old Road.
June 19: 2pm to 4pm, Huddersfield Town Hall, Ramsden Street.
June 24: 7pm to 9pm, Northorpe Hall, 53 Northorpe Lane, Mirfield.
June 27: 7pm to 9pm, Huddersfield Town Hall, Ramsden Street.
Visit www.kirkleestalk.org for more details.