Will west Leeds face council cuts next budget? Join The Dispatch for a big data hack to uncover the facts.


Cuts to services will be a hot topic in March when local authorities set their annual budgets – but would you like to help uncover in advance what west Leeds and the wider city will be facing in the spring by taking part in a big data event next week? Writes Rebecca Whittington.

Campaigners, charity representatives, community activists, journalists, technology and data experts and storytellers are being invited to take part in the Big Council Budget Hack at Leeds Trinity University on Saturday February 3.

Members of The Dispatch board of trustees will be attending on the day.

The event is being organised by The Bureau Local – a non-governmental group which gets hold of data sets and disseminates information to journalists and campaign groups at a local level in order to hold power to account.

A representative from the Bureau will be bringing the results from an FOI (Freedom of Information request) of all the local authorities in England (of which 50% have responded) asking for the projected plans for their annual budgets, decisions which are usually made in March each year.

The data, which includes responses from Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and North Yorkshire councils, will be analysed to identify key areas facing cuts on a national and local level.

Communicators and campaigners will then have the opportunity to highlight the biggest areas of deficit before the decisions are set in stone – meaning there will be time to highlight inequality or call for change.

You can be anyone with an interest in the subject to participate in the event – all you have to do is sign up for a free ticket.

To sign up, or for more information about the event, including accessibility and location, click here.

It’s an all-day event from 10am to 6pm, bring a laptop if you have one and your lunch and come prepared to make and shape history!


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