Leeds & West Yorkshire

Calderdale council underspend leaves £9m budget surplus

Calderdale Council has revealed it underspent by £1.3m last year, leaving it with an overall surplus of £9m.

The figures are outlined in a report to be considered by the council's cabinet later today.

Liberal Democrat council leader Jane Battye said the surplus meant the council was "well placed" to meet reductions in government funding.

About £1.7m of the surplus will be used "to support lower council tax levels" between now and 2013-14.

Another £2.3m will either be used to fund one-off projects or help keep council tax low.

The remaining £5m from the surplus is to be set aside to help meet any unexpected expenditure during 2011-12.

'Big challenges'

Ms Battye said the underspend was down to prudent financial management.

"The council has a duty to residents to ensure that it is careful in the way it spends their money," she said.

"But let's make no mistake, the council still faces big financial challenges in ensuring it continues to deliver the services people have told us are important to them."

Tim Swift, Labour deputy leader of Calderdale Council, welcomed the surplus but said the council must continue to focus on the future.

He said: "There is still much more to be done to achieve the savings required.

"We will continue to act to achieve efficiencies while protecting vital frontline services."

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