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Tories' guarded welcome for Bradford Council budget re-think
6:00am Wednesday 19th February 2014 in News
The opposition Conservative group on Bradford Council has given a guarded welcome to some of the revised proposals.
Tory deputy leader, Councillor Simon Cooke, said: “I was not overly surprised by the changes to the original budget proposals, though I do cautiously welcome some of them.
“I am pleased that the threatened childrens’ centres are safe for the time being due to the Schools Forum stepping in, but this is only for one year and at that time, we will be faced with a re-run of this year’s scenario.
“The executive is still talking about focussing on what it considers to be priority areas, which are generally the urban areas, while rural areas will lose out.”
And he cast doubt on the chances of finding a happy solution within a year.
“I am not persuaded by the suggestion that the Council is holding talks with potential alternative providers, as no-one can actually indicate who they supposedly are. A case of smoke and mirrors possibly.
“Also, the reduction in the scale of the reduction to the Youth Services budget looks attractive at a glance, but when one considers the fact that the reduction (at 36 per cent) is still more than a third of the service’s budget.
“When one considers these U-turns and also all of the smaller concessions, it is blatantly apparent that all of these services were ones where the Conservative group had taken the same position as and spoken in support of the residents who had petitioned and protested very hard against the loss of their services.
“Despite Labour’s claims to the contrary, these are not changes of heart due to concern for local residents, the Labour executive has changed its plans due to the level of pressure placed upon them by residents and Conservative councillors.”
Liberal Democrat group leader Jeanette Sunderland said she could not comment fully as she had yet to see the latest recommedations. She said: “But I am disappointed that again they are rejecting Government money to freeze the council tax.”