Turning off city centre fountain would save £81,000 say UKIP pair

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A proposal to turn off the fountain in the city’s Bull Ring to save money will be considered by cash-strapped Wakefield Council.

It has also been suggested that councillors accept a 10 per cent cut in their allowances.

The proposals would save around £180,000 for the council - which faces budget cuts of more than £100m by 2020.

They have been tabled by councillors David Dews and Nick Farmer, of the UK Independence Party.

The two amendments to the council’s Budget and Council Tax report will be discussed at a meeting on Monday.

The UKIP councillors’ amendment says cutting allowances would save £105,000 which could be spent on youth clubs.

The pair want to turn off the fountain in the Bullring and cancel the maintenance contract for its future upkeep, “saving £81,000, and use this saving to increase the money available for Creative Partners Grant Awards, to be spent on cultural activities engaging Young People”, their amendment says.

At Monday’s meeting the council is expected to approve cuts of £20m from the adult care budget and £5m from services for children and young people.

Up to another 100 jobs are expected to be lost during the next year - on top of the 1,400 predicted in last year’s budget - after the council was hammered by huge public spending cuts by the coalition government.

As part of the budget a council tax rise of just under two per cent is proposed.

Council tax was previously frozen in 2011-12 and 2012-13, costing the council around £12m.

Council leader Peter Box said: “It’s going to be tremendously difficult over the next year. I think people will now notice the effect on services.”