Kirklees Council’s budget for 2021/22 approved

Kirklees Council’s budget for next year 2021/2022 was approved by Full Council last night (10th Feb). The budget outlines support across the borough to help recover from the Covid-19 Pandemic and tackling inequalities within communities which have been highlighted throughout the pandemic as well as investment in places and other key areas. The approved budget will see Kirklees Council’s invest over £319million in vital local services in the next financial year. Here’s how some of that money will be used:-

  • £78million will be invested into Children’s services within Kirklees. They are currently on a journey of improvement – with the overall aim of becoming ‘outstanding’.
  • £115million will be invested into adult social care services which is an area where demand is growing rapidly.
  • £7.9million will be used to tackle local climate issues as well as funding for electric charging points, air quality, the creation of a Huddersfield Heat Network and more. 

You can view the full details of the budget on the Kirklees Council website. Unfortunately, the budget cannot just be about spending money, it’s also got to be about generating income in order to be able to invest in these services. The Government has therefore enabled councils to increase Council Tax by 3% for the 2021/22 financial year to help deliver this vital support in addition to the basic increase of 1.99%. 

This means a total of just under 5% increase in Council Tax which according to Kirklees is the equivalent of a £1 per week increase in bills for residents living in a Band A property and £1.50 per week for Band D homes. Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “People in Kirklees deserve a brighter future, they deserve a council bold enough to invest in a recovery that benefits everyone and leaves absolutely nobody behind.”“The priorities we highlighted last year – investing in places, children and climate change – are now more important than ever and our commitment to them has only increased. There has never been a more important time to support everyone in Kirklees to fulfil their potential and to live a happy and healthy life.” “The pandemic has bluntly exposed inequalities that have existed in our society for a long time and we have an opportunity to begin to put that right.“This is a Budget that’s bigger than numbers – it’s about values. This is our plan to build a Kirklees where everyone has a fair chance in life and that’s something worth investing in.” 

Speaking on the 4.99% increase in Council Tax this year, Councillor Pandor said: “We need to raise Council Tax by three per cent this year to help bridge the funding gap, because we simply have no other option. However, I am urging Government to give us a sustainable, long-term solution that our vulnerable and elderly people need and deserve. Since 2010 we have lost 60 per cent of direct Government funding and we have been forced to rely more and more on raising Council Tax. This is something the Local Government Association continues to highlight and is pressing the Government to develop a long-term funding strategy and to publish its green paper on the future of caring for our growing elderly adult population.” 

The council tax increase will provide Kirklees with an additional £5.6million to support the most vulnerable, whilst ‘continuing to invest in making Kirklees an even better place to live, work and invest’.

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