Mayor praises "bold and
far-sighted" budget

Thursday, 17 January 2008

At a sometimes passionate and heated meeting on Wednesday evening, councillors passed the Town Budget for 2008-09. The mayor, Councillor Fekri told the Hebden Bridge Web that he was "delighted" that council had taken some very "bold and far-sighted" decisions.

After more than two hours debate, the cross-party budget passed by councillors will "ensure that Hebden Royd continues on the path to prosperity, by building and strengthening the pillars that create a great community", said Cllr Fekri. "Councillors should be proud of their work, but be ever mindful that more is still to be done".

Cllr John Beacroft-Mitchell leader of the Lib Dem group on council said, "As a political party, we are opposed to the council tax, which is an unfair and iniquitous tax, hitting those with low and fixed incomes, such as pensioners, harder than those with higher earnings. Our priority, therefore was to keep the rise to a minimum".

The eventual budget passed, was £281,700, the largest single chunk of which (more than a quarter) is a new grants budget of £75,050. Other significant decisions were £25,000 for Environmental Renaissance, £20,000 for proposed works on Central Street, £10,000 for Community Safety to include CCTV, a potential PCSO, and Street Angel initiative, and £10,000 for a new Parks and Public Spaces Projects heading, proposed by Revd James Allison, to be targeted for Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale.

Cllr Christine Bampton-Smith, said that, "We are especially mindful of extravagant increases because we are aware of the increase to everyone of the cost of fuel and food. However, I believe that we are incredibly good value for money".

Cllr Dave Young leader of the Labour group said that, this new budget "works out to 9p a week for the average council tax-payer".

See Labour response from Cllr Susan Press in discussion forum