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Calderdale Christmas Tree Recycling


Unfortunately Calderdale Council isn’t providing lots of extra recycling points for Christmas trees. However they will be accepted in the green waste skips at any of the 5 Household Waste Recycling Centres. Remember to remove all decorations are removed before depositing in the skip!

There is also a temporary collection point at Ogden Water Visitor Centre, Ogden Lane, Causeway Foot, Halifax, HX2 8XZ. This is for trees with roots that can then be replanted around Ogden Water.

Artificial trees should either be given to charity shops or deposited in the general waste skips at the Council’s recycling centres.

Liberal Democrats Slam Slump in Recycling Rates

Local Liberal Democrat councillors have reacted angrily to the news that Calderdale has seen the biggest decrease in household recycling in any council in England.

Calderdale Council’s household recycling rate dropped from 60.4% in 2014-15 to 46.3% in 2015-16.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr James Baker (Warley) told us: “Calderdale had been one of the best performers in the country when it comes to recycling. The Labour administration was keen to publicise this, but don’t appear to be quite as keen to publicise this unacceptable drop in performance. It is just a few months since the Council decided that it wanted to be the ‘Best Borough in the North’ but it seems that in some areas the Council is moving in the wrong direction.”

“A Liberal Democrat Council would be striving to make Calderdale greener with increased recycling, solar energy generation and refitting all Council buildings to become energy efficient”, said Cllr Baker.

we wanted to wish everyone in Calderdale a very Merry Christmas. We hope all of you have a very relaxing Christmas break with your friends and family. Our thoughts especially go out to anyone who is on their own this year, or who have lost loved ones.

2016 has been a tumultuous year in politics, we hope that at Christmas we can all come together and put politics to one side and focus on our loved ones. Here is to hoping that 2017 is full of hope and progress for us.

Below you will find a load of useful information to help ensure your Christmas break goes smoothly.

Bereavement Services

The Crematorium will be closed 25th December – 27th December and on 2nd January.

The Books of Remembrance will be open on all the above dates for visitors

Cemeteries – Open all year round (on call on bank holidays)

Contact Centre

The Contact Centre will close at 5pm on Friday 23rd December 2016.

The service will reopen on Wednesday 28th December 2016 at 8.45am.

The Contact Centre will also close on Monday 2nd January due to Bank Holiday.

Customer First

All Customer First offices will operate normal working hours on Friday 23rd December 2016.

Customer First offices will reopen on Wednesday 28th December 2016.

Sowerby Bridge Customer First will be closed on 23rd and 30th December

Household Waste Collections

Christmas and New Year Waste and Recycling Collection Dates. Collections will be a day later than usual due to bank holidays:

Usual collection day Changed collection day
Monday 26th December 2016 Tuesday 27th December 2016
Tuesday 27th December 2016 Wednesday 28th December 2016
Wednesday 28th December 2016 Thursday 29th December 2016
Thursday 29th December 2016 Friday 30th December 2016
Friday 30th December 2016 Saturday 31st December 2016
Monday 2nd January 2017 Tuesday 3rd January 2017
Tuesday 3rd January 2017 Wednesday 4th January 2017
Wednesday 4th January 2017 Thursday 5th January 2017
Thursday 5th January 2017 Friday 6th January 2017
Friday 6th January 2017 Saturday 7th January 2017

All collections should be back to your usual collection day by Monday 9th January.

Please recycle all that you can, every week.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

Household Waste Recycling Centres will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and will operate Sunday opening hours on 27th December and 2nd January.

Find your nearest HWRC and check opening times – Recycling Sites


All Calderdale Libraries will be closed on 25th, 26th and 27th December, and on 1st and 2nd January.

Normal opening hours resume from 3rd January.

For any enquiries about seasonal opening hours, please ring 01422 392630.


Licensing services will be unavailable on 25th, 26th, 27th December and 2nd January.

Museums and art galleries

Bankfield Museum
24th December 10am – 3pm
25th December – 1st January Closed
2nd January 10am – 4pm


Shibden Hall
24th December 10am – 3pm
25th December – 1st January Closed


Smith Art Gallery
24th December 10am – 2pm
25th December – 28th December Closed
29th December – 31st December 10am – 2pm
1st January – 2nd January Closed


The Register Office will be closed on 25th, 26th, 27th December and 2nd January.

Sports centres and swimming pools

For information on all facilities please visit the individual Sports Venues.

Victoria Theatre Box Office

The Box Office will be closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Storm Barbara – Weather alert

Calderdale Council has continued to monitor developments of the two weather systems, sharing information with both the Environment Agency and the Met Office:

  • There are two weather systems moving over the UK between the 23 and 25 December. The first of these systems has been named Storm Barbara
  • The principal risk is wind, but we will possibly experience some heavy rain tomorrow afternoon and conversations are ongoing with the Environment Agency on this
  • Friday 23 December – A warning has been issued by the Met Office for Wind, valid from 7am Fri 23 until midnight Fri 23, giving low likelihood of medium impacts. Gust speeds are currently rated as 50 to 60mph widely across the warning area, locally up to 70mph
  • Sunday 25 December – A warning has been issued by the Met Office for Wind, valid from 3am Sun 25 until 6pm Sun 25, giving very low likelihood of medium impacts. Gust speeds are currently rated as 50 to 60mph widely across the warning area, locally up to 70mph
  • During both events, vulnerable structures could be at risk of damage. Damage to roofs, falling tiles and large branches will present a hazard. Transport and utility disruption is possible, and high-sided vehicles will also be at risk
  • The two weather systems are fast moving (due to the wind)and as a consequence subject to change but there is a high degree of confidence in the forecast
  • Those experiencing the brunt of the impacts are in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England. West Yorkshire and Calderdale are just within the warning areas
  • No warnings have been issued for rain at this time, but if indications from the forecasting suggest this will change we will update you accordingly
  • The good news is that after the systems have passed through, the indications are for things to settle down again from Boxing Day onwards

Regardless of the current weather forecast Calderdale Council and partners continue to work on our response and preparedness for flooding.  We are engaged in active dialogue with the West Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum, senior officers across the partnership both locally and regionally, and importantly with Council staff and volunteers who will open and staff our Community Hubs if in the unlikely event they are required. As we move towards the Holiday period the Council has invested in additional resources during its out of hours period to ensure that it can respond effectively to any emerging risk and/ or threat.

Just to reassure you, the sharing of information between key agencies will continue in real time with constant monitoring of the weather and agreed identification of risk/ threat.

Further real time information is available via Eye on Calderdale –

Please do check travel advice if you are travelling over the Christmas period, drive carefully. Look out for other motorists and have a safe journey!

Liberal Democrats Welcome Changes to Parking Charge Plans

Liberal Democrat councillors have welcomed proposed changes to Calderdale Council’s plans to increase car parking charges.

Liberal Democrat group leader, Cllr James Baker (Warley) told us: “The original plans for parking charges caused uproar when they were first announced in September. Liberal Democrat councillors pressed the Labour Cabinet to think again and it now looks as if they have come up with a scheme that will have more widespread support”.

“If a paper to be discussed by the Council’s Cabinet is approved next week, some increases in charges will be smaller than previously proposed and a free parking period will be allowed where new parking charges are introduced.”

“I’m also pleased that the Council is to agree to review these charges every two years, rather than waiting much longer and then proposing a large increase that upsets everyone”, said Cllr Baker.

The Cabinet will be discussing the issue of parking charges at its meeting on Monday 12th December.

Liberal Democrats Slam Council’s Refusal to Debate


Liberal Democrat councillors have slammed the decision to end the Council meeting before debating a number of important issues put forward by councillors.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr James Baker (Warley) told us: “It’s a disgrace that councillors voted to end the meeting before important issues for Calderdale residents could be debated.”

“If some people wanted to get off early, they could have just left, leaving those of us who are concerned about these things got on with our jobs as councillors.”

“We had put forward motions on cuts to local pharmacies and doing more to support small schools. These should have been discussed, as should the Labour motions on buses and pensions, and the Conservative motion on the EU referendum. We could have discussed at least one of these in the time it took to decide to end the meeting.”

“The plan is that these issues will appear on the agenda for the next Council meeting, but that isn’t until the middle of February. By that time the Council may have missed the opportunity to influence events, and other pressing issues may well have come up and need to be debated.”

Cllr Baker concluded: “Some councillors were clearly uncomfortable with closing down debates in this way, but they still voted for it. The Liberal Democrat group did not.”

Conservatives Fail to Deal With NHS Blackhole


The autumn statement shows a Brexit blackhole at the centre of government finance. Parliament has heard that hundreds of billions will be taken out of the economy just when we need it most.

Liberal Democrats across our area and the country have been pushing the government to put their money where their mouth – with an immediate £4 billion cash injection to stop the impending winter NHS funding crisis.

Commenting on the Autumn Statement, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

“Figures forecast a rise in unemployment and a fall in living standards.

“We are seeing a drop in tax receipts of £8.2 billion over the next two years alone. That’s enough to fund over 330,000 nurses. In response the Chancellor offered nothing but reheated headlines and recycled announcements.

“He and his Government are not competent to deal with the challenges ahead. They are going to hit people in the pocket through their hapless handling of Brexit, and Labour can offer no opposition, having backed them on Brexit.

“Yet, the Liberal Democrats have consistently campaigned for more funding for the NHS as we are on the edge of another winter crisis and our health service is at breaking point but yet the government has turned a deaf ear to these calls.

“Sadly now patients will pay the price. There is also nothing for public sector workers, our doctors, teachers and armed forces, who deserve a proper pay rise.”

Councillor James Baker leader of Calderdale Liberal Democrats said:

“Before the referendum we were promised £350 million a week for the NHS.”

“I know the Conservatives have never really backed the NHS, but I did think they might be good enough to at least live up to their word. ”


Last chance to save the old Ferney Lee Grammar school building ?

The planning application to demolish the old Ferney Lee Grammar school and build a new school, is coming to Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday next week (December 6th).

“It is disheartening, to say the least, that Calderdale Council is not listening to the feelings of local people about the importance of this old building” says Liberal Democrat Todmorden Town Councillor Janet Battye.

“What is even worse, from the report to the Planning Committee, the Council seems not to have taken any advice from any experts in old buildings, not even its own Conservation Officers.

“It seems to me, and a lot of other local people, that it’s just not good enough to say that the old school has to be knocked down to build the new one. It doesn’t. It’s a large site so there are choices as to how to use it. This important building shouldn’t just be demolished for a car park or a playground.

“This is the place where our two Nobel Prizewinners had their formative, early science education and inspiration. I think that it’s a fine, Edwardian building. I have long said that if the Council doesn’t want to retain it for its own use, it should put it on the market so that other people, who might appreciate, have the opportunity to conserve it and bring it back into use.

“Local people are saying that it’s a “done deal” and, to my mind, the Council do seem to be intent on demolishing it. I hope that they will at least pause, take more advice, and think about it again before they take this final step. I thought that the era of needlessly demolishing old buildings had long passed”.

Call for fair consultation on the future of Cragg Vale Primary school


Local Liberal Democrats are supporting residents and parents in their call for the consultation on the future of Cragg Vale Primary school to be fair, and to consider the consequences of it.

“Calderdale’s Labour Cabinet is proposing to move Cragg Vale Primary school onto the Calder Hill School site, saying that the current building isn’t safe even with the large government grant which the Council applied for to fix it” says Cllr Ashley Evans, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson.

“But retaining the school on the current site isn’t one of the options that they’re offering people. This seems to be unfair. It would be better if they asked people to rank the options including keeping the school where it is, and then they would get a true reflecting of people’s views.

Local Liberal Democrat Councillor on Hebden Royd Town Council, Catherine Crossland added: “We’ve been talking with local residents in Cragg Vale: some people thought that the school was safe after the attempt by Calderdale Council to close it last year and the majority value the school as a community facility and want to see it stay in Cragg Vale. Calderdale Council must listen to that !”

Threat to Small Schools?

Below is the text of a letter from Ashley Evans, sent to local newspapers and published in the Hebden Bridge Times/Todmorden News on 27 October 2016.

I am mindful of the proposal to close and transfer Cragg Vale School on the basis that its current building is too expensive to repair and maintain. This is despite over £1m being allocated for this purpose some time ago! Views on a number of options have already been gathered, but not on spending the targeted funds on the existing school in its existing location. Clearly there would be benefits to pupils and parents if this option were adopted.

However, I have a broader concern.

There is a danger that this is the ‘thin end of a wedge’ to progressively wipe out Calderdale’s small, rural, village primary schools, implying that they are no longer economically viable and are unable to deliver a ‘good education’ to youngsters. The need to ‘bus’ children or for their parents to transport them is often excluded from economic calculations.

As to quality of education, there is much evidence to show that children in small schools perform better – irrespective of social group – with good behaviour and positive attitudes to life and learning. They avoid the heavy costs of later educational disaffection and failure while their more enduring school performance enhances their career prospects and boosts future tax revenues.

So, instead of looking at pupil unit costs in isolation, councils should evaluate the benefits of smaller schools in wider economic and social terms. Furthermore, what is often forgotten is that the single most important ingredient in the success of the school is the effectiveness of the Head.

Thinking more creatively, there are also effective economies which can be made without throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Small schools can work together in varying degrees and ways, from informal joint working and sharing of expertise, through employing specialist staff, to more formal federations with a shared governing body and Executive Head.

We urgently need a more sophisticated analysis of the economics of school size. Small schools bring significant benefits including sustaining rural communities. The Cabinet and the Authority should see small schools as assets, not liabilities. They offer a family-friendly, community-based model for education that is too precious to lose.

Cllr Ashley Evans
Liberal Democrat, Warley Ward

Liberal Democrats Frustrated by Further Local Plan Delays

Local Liberal Democrat councillors have expressed their frustration at further delays in producing a local plan for Calderdale that will form the basis for deciding planning applications for years to come.

Cllr Ashley Evans (Liberal Democrat, Warley), a member of the Council’s Local Plan Working Party says: “This work seems to be taking forever. Deadlines come and go, new deadlines are set but then these pass without a plan being produced. Now we are told it will be next March – at the earliest – before a plan will be agreed and members of the public asked for their views.”

“I accept that this will be an important document and that it needs to be right, but progress is painfully slow. The publication date always seems to be some months in the future and we never get there. The last timetable involved publishing a plan in September, but clearly it’s going to be at least another five months before it sees the light of day.”

“It seems to me that the scale of this project has been underestimated – and therefore under-resourced – right from the beginning. I am also not convinced that enough time has been built in for public consultation.”

“The Council’s Cabinet needs to get a grip on this process and provide the resources and the political will needed to ensure that a high-quality plan is produced on time. This must not be allowed to be delayed again” said Cllr Evans.