Council’s £1.2m transport cash windfall row

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SHEFFIELD Council is celebrating a £1.2 million cash windfall after it emerged the levy it pays to the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority will be less than originally thought.

Every year South Yorkshire’s councils give the authority a levy to spend on transport projects, but it has emerged SYITA has made last-minute savings allowing the councils to retain some money.

But the news has sparked a political storm - after Sheffield Council’s Liberal Democrats called on the ruling Labour group to spend the money on saving the city’s green waste recycling service which is due to be axed under cost cutting plans.

Coun Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for finance, said it was not a ‘credible’ option however and, if implemented, other services would be cut.

He added: “At a time when we are under extreme financial pressures any saving is welcomed, but we have to put this in context of having to cut £55m this year and £170m over the next four. Much of this is one-off funding. The Lib Dems are clutching at straws and would just be storing up problems for years to come.”