Power and money should be devolved to four Kirklees districts where councillors will have greater control over spending priorities, the Kirklees Conservatives say.

The Party’s councillors and candidates launched their 2014 local election campaign on Tuesday and unveiled a future operating model for Kirklees Council that puts power in the hands of communities.

Clr Robert Light, leader, said there should be a Core Service covering social services, adult services, children’s safeguarding, waste collection, strategic highways and the council’s corporate function plus four districts – Dewsbury and Batley, Greater Spenborough, Huddersfield Urban and Huddersfield Rural - that will manage all other council services from parks and public buildings to public toilets and planning enforcement.


Dewsbury & Batley

Dewsbury East, Dewsbury West, Dewsbury South, Batley East, Batley West

Gtr Spenborough

Birstall & Birkenshaw, Cleckheaton, Liversedge and Gomersal, Heckmondwike, Mirfield

Huddersfield Urban

Almondbury, Ashbrow, Dalton, Greenhead, Newsome, Crosland Moor/Netherton, Lindley

Huddersfield Rural

Kirkburton, Denby Dale, Holme Valley North, Holme Valley South, Colne Valley, Golcar

Councillors in each district will have a say in how it spends its devolved budget and commission services.

Clr Light says the model and funding formula has been researched over the last nine months and validated as sound by council officers.

Clr Light said: “It’s a really important time for local government at the moment - anyone who says that change is not on the agenda is simply not being truthful.

“Local government needs to be more business like and more effective with its ideas and to be more honest with the public.

“This summer they are going to be looking at libraries, community centres and museums and looking at closures - the current leadership of the council has no plans for providing these services in different ways.”

The party made six pledges it will uphold if they secure enough seats to run the council in the May 22 local elections, they are: A two year council tax freeze; protecting frontline services; providing value for money; protecting communities from development; opposing reductions in hospital services and more local control.

Clr Light added: “Outside of the core service functions, the rest of the services the council currently runs are those which affect people on a daily basis and they don’t need to be run by a centralised Huddersfield.

“Each area will have its own say.

“This is quite a revolution - there has been a lot of talk about the need to change, but no-one has come forward with ideas of how change is delivered.

“What we are proposing and hope people will see is that the Conservative’s have got an vision and an ability to deliver it.”

Funding for districts, they say, will be fair and not based on council tax and business rate receipts in an area.

Structurally, there would remain a leader with a Policy and Resources Committee to oversee the core service, fewer Full Council meetings but more in the districts.

Election results pending, it could be implemented by 2016.

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