Letter: 95 per cent of our spend is ‘district-wide’

Two weeks ago the P&C/Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express launched two new campaigns, ‘Our Fair Share’ and ‘Sort It Out’.

My understanding of the Fair Share campaign is that you are looking for a fair deal for the Wakefield District, something the council would totally support, but also a fair share for certain parts of the district.

As a direct result of Government decisions, this council is having to make cuts of £185m during this decade.

So far we have only carried out a third of these cuts, so over the next few years residents are likely to see some services change significantly, or even disappear.

Any support from your readers to persuade government to reverse these cuts and give our district its fair share would be much appreciated.

Your campaign also highlights how and where money is spent in the district, and whether or not this is fair. Over 95 per cent of what we spend is spread out across the district and isn’t affected by where you live.

Every year this includes 13 million bin collections, supporting 8,500 adults with needs so they can live at home, maintaining 945 miles of road, fixing over 10,000 potholes, and much more.

We deal with more than 1,000,000 phone calls a year from all over the district from residents requesting services, so council services are truly district-wide.

I’m also pleased to see the Express is taking a keen interest in issues affecting local communities, especially things affecting local neighbourhoods, such as vandalism and graffiti.

Your ‘Sort It Out’ campaign asks readers to send in photos of examples, and the Express will get in touch with the people responsible to ask them to do something about it.

However, if it’s an issue affecting the council, I would also urge readers to ring our contact centre on 0345 8 506 506, email customerservices@wakefield.gov.uk or visit our Customer Access Point in Wakefield One.

It’s great that the Express is encouraging communities to look after their local neighbourhoods.

Government cuts will mean that there are likely to be fewer council services in future, so action taken by communities themselves will become more important.

We have an ongoing campaign, ‘Love Where You Live’, which does exactly that, and we’d love your readers to get involved. ‘Love Where You Live’ initiatives are publicised locally, so keep an eye out for what’s going on in your area.

The more that we can do together then the better our neighbourhoods will be.

Coun Maureen Cummings

Cabinet Member

Environment and Communities