Next Chapter frequently asked questions (FAQ)

If you have a question we have not answered please email us.

Where does the money come from to fund Next Chapter projects?

Funding for projects comes from a number of sources. The majority of the projects we deliver are funded by grants from UK government or the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Some projects are funded by the Council. 

You can find out how projects are funded on our project pages.

Why is the money being spent on these projects? Could it be used to support Council services instead?

We apply for funding for specific projects or pieces of work. Funding is only awarded to us if we are able to meet specific criteria. For example, we may use funds:

  • to build a new infrastructure for walking and cycling,
  • to improve the flow of traffic along a section of road,
  • to make improvements to a town centre, 
  • to refurbish something, 
  • or build new things.

Funding cannot be used for other things, such as filling potholes or making improvements to Council services.

We submit a business case for each project that sets out how we will make best use of the funding. The funding bodies (UK Government, The West Yorkshire Combined Authority ) only issue the funding if they are satisfied it is to be used solely on the project. Most Calderdale Next Chapter projects are funded externally including the A629 projects (Phase 1a, 1b, and 2), the A641 improvement scheme, and the Halifax and Elland Future High Streets projects.

For large projects funded by the Council, the decision to go ahead is made by elected members.

How do you ensure that funding for projects is spent well?

When we bid for external funding we are required to produce a detailed business case in line with the Treasury's Green Book. The business case demonstrates how the projects will deliver benefits and provide value for money. 

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority, who fund many of our projects, has its own benefits realisation process that it uses to make sure that the funding is spent as intended.

Elected members scrutinise business cases for Council funded projects through the committee process before key decisions are made. 

Find out more about decision making in the Council.

Is council tax spent on these projects?

Generally council tax is not used to fund Calderdale Next Chapter projects. Each project often brings funding into the council from an external source. These projects would likely not go ahead if there was no access to external funding.

The projects increase the value of the Council’s capital assets, contribute to the running costs of support services across the council, and have benefits that provide value for society, for example by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, or by helping people to get to work, stay healthy, or do business in Calderdale.

Why are consultants and contractors used on projects and how are they chosen?

Projects are complicated and require input from many different experts. The bigger or more complex a project is, the greater the need is for specialists. We try, where appropriate, to use Council staff to manage and oversee projects. Where we need support from consultants and contractors we identify the requirement at the start of a project and build these costs into the request for funding.

We follow procurement rules to ensure that Council expenditure delivers value for money, social value and is statutorily compliant. Where appropriate, we carry out formal tender exercises and suppliers are chosen based on their ability to do the job and provide best value to the Council.

Who decides which projects go ahead and how are these decisions made?

Key decisions about projects are made by elected Council members. Decisions are based on things like how well projects fit with the corporate priorities of the Council, whether it delivers benefits for the people of Calderdale, and whether it is affordable. Often, we put proposals for major projects to early public consultation to establish the level of support.

Projects funded by the Government or by The West Yorkshire Combined Authority are subject to an additional assurance process to check that they meet the criteria for funding and that the project is viable.

Why wasn’t my feedback considered?

We consider all feedback we receive. 

When we are developing a project, we run public consultations and we ask for input and feedback from a range of people and organisations. This helps us better understand what people are looking for from a project. It helps us to understand if our designs meet the needs of the community, make sure we don’t miss out on ideas, and allows us to make design choices to progress the project. We often get hundreds of suggestions and ideas. Decisions on the ideas we can take forward are based on lots of different criteria including cost, impact on other areas, equality, and whether they meet the criteria of the funding.   We work through all the insights we have from consultation and seek to achieve the best possible benefits for the community. It is not always possible to cater for everyone.

We share details of public consultations on Live consultations

Why does it take so long to complete projects?

Some of the processes that go into a project include:

  • Consultation, where we share proposals with the public and ask for comments and feedback so we can make sure they are the best they can be.
  • Stakeholder engagement, where we involve people in our projects.
  • Design of proposals.
  • Procurement, buying the services and products we need to complete the project.
  • Surveys, examining areas of land and property before we start construction.
  • Land assembly, where we buy or arrange access to the land we need to complete the project.
  • Applying for planning permission.
  • Making changes to Traffic Regulation Orders, where projects involve changes to restrictions on public roads.
  • Construction.

Each process is made up of many steps. We run many of these processes in parallel where we can. No two projects are the same. The time it takes to complete each project is influenced by factors both in and out of our control.

Why is nobody working when I drive past?

Most construction happens between 8 am and 5 pm. This keeps costs down, minimises noise disruption at night and at weekends, and makes it easier to coordinate with suppliers and agencies linked to the work. 

Our workforce are multi-skilled and work on different tasks throughout each project. Sometimes they may be working on different parts of the project or preparing for work in other areas.

There are times when staff may be away collecting materials or waiting for work to be signed off. We use a robust planning system to make sure we work efficiently and safely. We aim to minimise project duration and disruption to the public.

Working outdoors in all weathers is physically demanding and we encourage our workforce to take regular breaks.

Why are we still spending millions of pounds on road schemes like the A629 programme when we are trying to encourage people to use public transport and reduce car use?

As a Council we are committed to responding to the climate emergency and reaching our target of net zero emissions by 2038. Travel is the second biggest source of carbon emissions. 41% of these emissions come from cars, lorries, buses, and vans using our roads. Transforming transport and getting around is one of the key themes of our climate action plan. We are supporting more people to get to where they need to go without the need for a car.

Roads are, and will continue to be, an important way by which we all get around. Roads are used for public transport, the emergency services, for delivering post and parcels, and for transporting goods. 

The A629 programme includes features like cycle lanes, crossings, and bus lanes that make it easier to switch to walking, cycling or public transport.

Projects that tackle congestion and standing traffic, which are some of the major contributing factors to pollution, can reduce emissions and improve air quality. 

Why is the Council able to remove trees when it has declared a climate emergency?

Any decision to remove trees is a last resort and not something we do lightly. If and when we are required to remove trees, the plans are discussed with ecology experts to minimise disruption for wildlife. We avoid removing trees during bird nesting season and take care not to disrupt bat habitats.  Where we have to remove trees, we offset loss by replanting in the same area or as close by. We demonstrate that biodiversity will be maintained or improved to get project approval.

How do I find out about the progress of projects taking place in Calderdale?

We add to all our project pages with updates as the projects progress. Our press office share releases with local media outlets and we publish these as news articles. We also share details of live consultations and events where you can meet the project teams, find out about proposals, and have your say on the how projects will be delivered. 

We post updates on social media:

Facebook: Calderdale Next Chapter 

x: @CalderdaleNC

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