As part of ongoing efforts to address Kirklees Council’s precarious financial position, all parties agreed to the setting up of a budget working group earlier this year.
The purpose of the group was thought to be to allow all parties to contribute ideas on revenue-generating and cost-saving measures which would assist the Council in getting back on a better financial footing following years of mismanagement by the Labour Administration.
Since the formation of the group vital information has been withheld from opposition parties and announcements around cuts to services continue to take place in the press or in Cabinet documents before any discussion taking place in the budget working group.
Following the earlier withdrawal of the Liberal Democrats from the budget working group, the Conservative Group made one final attempt to get revised terms of reference that would allow the working group to function in a meaningful way.
In response to the receipt of revised terms of reference for the budget working group on 9th November 2023, Kirklees Conservatives Leader Cllr David Hall wrote to the Chief Executive Steve Mawson and Council Leader Cllr Cathy Scott stating that the Conservative Group is withdrawing from the process.
Cllr Hall said,
We were committed in good faith to playing our part in helping to address the council’s financial crisis by sitting on the working group. But having read the revised terms of reference I am not satisfied that this goes anywhere near the level of assurance we need to continue to participate.
Our concerns about the early sight of officer reports and options have not been addressed, and yet again this week we found out second-hand about a major plank of the council’s efforts to tackle the financial challenge though cabinet papers.
The working group is a drain on councillors’ time and energy for no benefit to the council and so, regrettably, we have withdrawn from it.
It is now clear that the Labour Administration does not wish to discuss financial matters in good faith but instead simply wanted to tie opposition parties to the unpopular decisions they are now having to make due to their own incompetence.
For more information, please contact David Hall on 07719673194 email@example.com