Congratulations to Cllr Stephen Baines, the Conservative leader of Calderdale Council. He has announced a 1% cut in the Council Tax this year after identifying £14 million of savings on the Council's running costs. They have also found money for a £380,000 scheme to boost literacy and to keep down parking charges. The literacy scheme follows Dolly Parton's success in America with the Imagination Library scheme – where every child receives a book every month until they start school.
Efficiency savings that are planned in their budget include cutting the spending on agency workers, a Town Hall pay freeze ("assumed"), savings on printing to reach £112,000 a year, savings in the Human Resources Department £35,000, savings on adult social care by doing more on reablement to reach £1 million, reductions in "out of area placements" (for children with learning difficulties, I think) to save £400,000.
I am impressed that the budget shows plans for significant further savings in future years. Of course some more details would be very interesting to the rest of us on how these plans have been achieved. (£300,000 savings by "Improved Waste Performance." How?) But the Council have the credibility of having exceeded their target of efficiency savings for this year and last year. I am writing to Cllr Baines to ask him to share a few tips with us.