Kirklees Council cuts: Events, museums, sports centres and markets in the firing line

FINAL RIDE Spirit Festival could be at risk
FINAL RIDE Spirit Festival could be at risk

A vast range of services could face closure or massive reductions in funding under the options open to Kirklees Council.

Council assets could be sold off and three possibilities for council tax will be considered.

The first, to leave the rate the same, would mean a further £8.4 would have to be cut by 2017-2018.

The second would mean an increase of two per cent, and the third would mean an increase of five per cent, which the council said would be likely to require a public referendum each year.

All grants to arts organisation for events will end, which would put Spirit festival, Dewsbury at Sea and Crown of Lights Festival, Heckmondwike, at risk.

And the current proposal would only allow for two museums and Huddersfield Art Gallery to remain open.

The council could not yet confirm which museums would face closure, but Oakwell Hall, Red House Museum, Bagshaw Museum and Dewsbury Museum were not ruled out. A reduction in the grant to Kirklees Active Leisure for the running of the council’s centres and pools could affect Batley Baths and Recreation Centre, Batley Sports and Tennis Centre, Dewsbury Sport Centre and Spenborough Pool and Fitness Centre.

Loss-making markets at Batley and Birstall would close and Dewsbury’s Free Town Bus Service would no longer receive funding.

Kirklees Council leader David Sheard said the council was looking for innovative ways to keep services and events running, with help from sponsors or volunteers.

Consultation on the proposals will run from October onwards.

The findings will go back to the council in December or January and the final decision will be taken by full council in February.