A SECOND Worth Valley parish council chairman has warned of more cuts to public services on the horizon.
Councillor Ken Eastwood, of Oxenhope Parish Council, was reporting back on a meeting of the parish councils liaison committee at his own council's monthly meeting last Wednesday night. (April 12)
He said: "The strong message coming from Bradford is that by 2020 there is not going to be any money from them for things like cutting grass or maintaining sports grounds.
"Burley in Wharfedale Parish Council have taken on the running of public toilets, a library and are also part way towards taking on a community hall. They have over 40 volunteers.
"They are putting up their precept by over £100,000 this year.
"If people want their local services protecting these are the kinds of decisions they're going to have to take."
Cllr Eastwood's warning came only two days after the chairman of neighbouring Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council suggested that his council might need to significantly raise its precept in future to fill the gap left by Bradford Council's retreat.
Cllr Gary Swallow also highlighted Burley in Wharfedale Parish Council's precept-boosting response to the district council's difficult financial situation.
He pointed out that the days of Bradford Council providing what it sees as non-essential services in Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury have gone.
In his own annual report delivered at Oxenhope's Annual Parish Meeting, Cllr Eastwood said: "As the Government's austerity agenda begins to bite, there is less money available for non-essential services and Bradford Council are increasingly looking to either close or transfer assets.
"This presents an opportunity for parish councils to try and preserve those services that matter to local people.
"I believe we need to engage in positive discussions with Bradford and with our residents to understand where these impacts will be felt locally and where we may be able to make a difference.
"I'm sure this is something we will be revisiting in the coming year."
Cllr Eastwood added: "Bradford Council doesn't have all the answers, but they are making the right noises about wanting to work with local councils to find solutions."
Oxenhope Cllr Robert Goulding said that parish councils such as Oxenhope's having to take over more services from Bradford should not solely be viewed negatively.
He said it would not be a bad development if local people become motivated to get more involved with their own communities, rather than expecting Bradford Council to deliver everything.