Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin has led a call by metro mayors for emergency Government support for local councils on the brink of financial collapse.

Kirklees Council is just one of many local authorities taking drastic action to stave off effective bankruptcy.

Mayor Brabin, backed by the mayors of Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, South Yorkshire, North of Tyne and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has written to Local Government Secretary Michael Gove calling for more resources for struggling councils.

In all the mayors represent more than 8.5 million people.

Kirklees Council must save £47 million by February in order to present a balanced budget for 2024-25. If it can’t do that it must issue what is known as a Section 114 notice and declare itself bankrupt. After that the council would come under the control of Whitehall officials.

Mayor Brabin’s intervention comes as the Government prepares to publish next year’s Local Government Finance Settlement, which could plunge the future of local public services further into doubt.

The letter calls for extra finance alongside a package of reforms to make local government funding fairer and more sustainable.

The mayors argue that the Government must take into account rising costs and increased demand, as well as the higher costs of providing for areas of higher deprivation.

Almost one in five local authorities have told the Local Government Association they think it’s ‘fairly’ or ‘very likely’ their chief finance officers will have to issue a Section 114 notice.

While some councils have already been forced to take this drastic step others, such as Kirklees, are cutting deep, closing leisure centres, dementia care homes and community buildings.

Kirklees Council is also raising charges for everything from car parking to allotments, residential parking permits to dog boarding licences.

Mayor Brabin, a former MP for Batley & Spen who now lives in Slaithwaite, said: “We as mayors have ambitious plans for our regions but we will never be able to deliver the full potential of devolution while our local authority partners are left on a financial cliff edge.

“We are seeing more demand than ever before for local public services and it is clear more urgent action must be taken.

“Councils across the country are struggling and we are urging the Government to do the right thing and step in to take action to support them before it’s too late.”

Kirklees Council says it is confident of delivering a balanced budget despite making “heartbreaking” decisions.

Cabinet member for finance and regeneration, Clr Graham Turner, has pledged to do “everything in our power” to avoid triggering a Section 114 notice “because that would be the absolute worst outcome for this local authority and its residents.”

He told a recent council meeting: “No matter how much work and how much time it takes, we will find those savings. We will deliver a balanced budget in March to ensure that we don’t go into Section 114 territory.

“That’s not the case for many other local authorities but we will not reach that point. We are confident of that.”