Council tax is set to be frozen for Calderdale residents from April.
But a one per cent rise has been earmarked for the following two years as Calderdale Council prepares to find savings of £9.4m by 2017.
Budget proposals, put forward today by the council’s Conservative Cabinet but to be agreed at Full Council, will mean 200 jobs will be lost in the next two years.
Council leader, Clr Stephen Baines, described it as “something that was agreed last year, but reducing the number of staff by 200 is not an easy thing”.
There’s also £500,000 for cultural and heritage work to tap into tourism, plus £200,000 to boost tourism and employment.
A public consultation will take place in summer to determine the council’s future spending priorities.
Clr Baines said: “The main positive is that in difficult financial times there’s no council tax rise for the people of Calderdale.
“Also, as a one-off spend, we’ve got £500,000 for a capital programme to look at heritage and cultural access. We’ll never have the money for all of them... but Calderdale has many historic buildings and they require some TLC.”
Clr Scott Benton, deputy leader, said the spotlight shines on Calderdale thanks to the success of BBC dramas Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax.
He added: “They’ve put Calderdale on the map. If we’re talking about a future tourism strategy we want to encourage and improve access to heritage assets.”
Ideas for future consideration will be included in a major public consultation due to get underway this summer.
Clr Baines said: “If we did it before the General Election it would be lost in the election. We need to have a meaningful consultation and I think that needs to be afterwards.”
Clr Tim Swift, Labour leader, described the budget proposals as ‘vacuous’ adding: “There are no proposals for how savings will be made in 2017/18, all the difficult decisions have been put off until after the election and it doesn’t show any sense of direction for the people of Calderdale.”
Clr Janet Battye, Lib Dem leader, added: “I am pleased we’re going to re-run a big public consultation. The last in 2010 was valuable in getting people’s priorities and it’s right we look forward.”
Members of the public can have their say on the budget plans by visiting www.calderdale.gov.uk/budget or visit Hebden Bridge Town Hall on January 21 at 7pm; North Bridge Leisure Centre on January 26 at 7pm; or the Mulberry Suite, Brighouse High School Sixth Form Centre on January 28 at 6.30pm.