'Challenging 12 months ahead, Bradford Council leaders warn

Councillor Lynne Smith, who is warning Bradford Council faces a challenging year ahead

Councillor Lynne Smith, who is warning Bradford Council faces a challenging year ahead

First published in News

Budget cuts and mounting pressure on services mean Bradford Council is facing a "particularly challenging" 12 months ahead, according to a committee chairman.

Safeguarding children, helping the poor in times of crisis and managing cuts to its own budgets are just some of the big challenges the authority has flagged up for the coming year.

Councillor Lynne Smith, chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee, on the Labour-run authority has now voiced her fears about how the authority will cope.

She said: "You can't take the amount of money out of your budget that we have been forced to do without the risks getting greater. It's as simple as that."

Cllr Smith said she would be in close contact with the Council's scrutiny committees to flag up any problems as they arose.

She said: "It's not Governance's job to scrutinise, but it is our job to make sure that things are picked up."

The leader of the Council, Councillor David Green, added: "There are serious concerns about the financial viability of the Council over the next few years."

He said the General Election in 11 months' time added another level of uncertainty, but said he was confident they had the structures in place to meet the challenges ahead.

But the leader of the Conservatives, Councillor Glen Miller, said: "It would appear that Labour will continue to knock the Government at every chance and in every report, blaming the Government for cuts, cuts, cuts, when in fact it is their own leadership and lack of forward thinking that brings the district to where it is."

Each year, the Council publishes an Annual Governance Statement, which reviews its own effectiveness and flags up "known areas of concern".

In this year's draft report, areas of concern include making sure children are kept safe from harm, as the workload of social workers continues to rise. The report says the tragic death of tot Hamzah Khan triggered a full inspection of the Council's safeguarding services, and in its wake the number of referrals to social services rose by a massive 40 per cent, putting "significant pressure" on their workloads.

Ongoing budget cuts are also expected to cause problems at City Hall, as is the Government's axeing of money for the Social Fund, which enables the Council to give emergency cash grants or household goods for families in crisis. The Council is now developing options for a replacement crisis loan scheme.

The draft report will go before the Governance and Audit Committee on Friday, June 20.

Comments (5)

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10:24pm Fri 13 Jun 14

bluebluerobin says...

Just the Labour Group getting their excuses in early for what they know will be a bad year of falling services and standards. They should abandon their pet projects and cut away at the swathes of waste instead of blaming the Government for everything. The cuts are not to blame Cllr Smith, your party's ineptitude is.
Just the Labour Group getting their excuses in early for what they know will be a bad year of falling services and standards. They should abandon their pet projects and cut away at the swathes of waste instead of blaming the Government for everything. The cuts are not to blame Cllr Smith, your party's ineptitude is. bluebluerobin
  • Score: 6

11:44pm Fri 13 Jun 14

dellorri says...

Oh I grant you, much of the many fiascos of the last couple of years have been down to the ineptitude and stupidity of this present council. But you also have to realise, they were NOT the ones who got us into the WASTEFIELD trap, and much of the set in stone "regeneration" contracts are down to good old Barra McRuari and the rest of the then conservative led Bradford council. One of whom Kris Hopkins is so proud of the work he did here, that now he's an MP in Keighley, wants to split Keighley from the BMDC and have nothing to do with it.
But on top of all that, the council have been handed the single most brilliant "get out of jail" card by the government. With the LGA finance cuts over the last 5 years, they have lost 40% of their local service budget and on top of that are now expected to provide services formerly handled by the DWP. Here's an analogy of that situation for you, so it's easy to understand.
A man works and comes home giving his wife his wages to pay the bills, he gives her £100 for a weeks bills, then each week he reduces it by 10% or £10, until she is left with £60 to pay the bills.......... Then he tells her "Oh by the way, as well as paying the bills, I want you to pay next door's bills as well." That's what the government have done to councils, taking 40% of their budget, expecting them to provide the same services, AS WELL AS take over the social fund which the DWP no longer run as it was abolished in April 2013, which means no crisis loans, no community care grants, no independent living fund. So the council by law HAVE to provide the service instead.
So yes, the council have made some blunders, but the fault isn't totally theirs.
Oh I grant you, much of the many fiascos of the last couple of years have been down to the ineptitude and stupidity of this present council. But you also have to realise, they were NOT the ones who got us into the WASTEFIELD trap, and much of the set in stone "regeneration" contracts are down to good old Barra McRuari and the rest of the then conservative led Bradford council. One of whom Kris Hopkins is so proud of the work he did here, that now he's an MP in Keighley, wants to split Keighley from the BMDC and have nothing to do with it. But on top of all that, the council have been handed the single most brilliant "get out of jail" card by the government. With the LGA finance cuts over the last 5 years, they have lost 40% of their local service budget and on top of that are now expected to provide services formerly handled by the DWP. Here's an analogy of that situation for you, so it's easy to understand. A man works and comes home giving his wife his wages to pay the bills, he gives her £100 for a weeks bills, then each week he reduces it by 10% or £10, until she is left with £60 to pay the bills.......... Then he tells her "Oh by the way, as well as paying the bills, I want you to pay next door's bills as well." That's what the government have done to councils, taking 40% of their budget, expecting them to provide the same services, AS WELL AS take over the social fund which the DWP no longer run as it was abolished in April 2013, which means no crisis loans, no community care grants, no independent living fund. So the council by law HAVE to provide the service instead. So yes, the council have made some blunders, but the fault isn't totally theirs. dellorri
  • Score: -3

11:56pm Fri 13 Jun 14

G_Firth says...

What a total joke not only did Labour state there will be no cuts in their Election leaflets and on the door step.
We have Glen Miller who used public funding as in what he stole from BDMC because that is what he did no matter which way you look at it.
He is given a little spot on this article when he has absolutely no place even being in office for breaking election rules and should of already been disqualified.
Misappropriation of funds is a criminal office, even more so if used to win an election.
But back on topic ask yourselves this simple question how is it that the amount they need to cut equals the exact amount BDMC is liable to pay to WYCA whom have not been give dispensation to enforce a levy that would go on top of the Council tax.
That's right BDMC has to pay its 20% share of 1.6 billion that the WYCA is after.
Does the Lib/Lab/Con/Green really think we are that gullible to believe their hype anymore.
What a total joke not only did Labour state there will be no cuts in their Election leaflets and on the door step. We have Glen Miller who used public funding as in what he stole from BDMC because that is what he did no matter which way you look at it. He is given a little spot on this article when he has absolutely no place even being in office for breaking election rules and should of already been disqualified. Misappropriation of funds is a criminal office, even more so if used to win an election. But back on topic ask yourselves this simple question how is it that the amount they need to cut equals the exact amount BDMC is liable to pay to WYCA whom have not been give dispensation to enforce a levy that would go on top of the Council tax. That's right BDMC has to pay its 20% share of 1.6 billion that the WYCA is after. Does the Lib/Lab/Con/Green really think we are that gullible to believe their hype anymore. G_Firth
  • Score: 8

12:07am Sat 14 Jun 14

Viwinner says...

they have enough money for a £17 million cycle track and £100 million in reserves
they have enough money for a £17 million cycle track and £100 million in reserves Viwinner
  • Score: 8

4:37pm Sat 14 Jun 14

allinittogether says...

dellorri wrote:
Oh I grant you, much of the many fiascos of the last couple of years have been down to the ineptitude and stupidity of this present council. But you also have to realise, they were NOT the ones who got us into the WASTEFIELD trap, and much of the set in stone "regeneration" contracts are down to good old Barra McRuari and the rest of the then conservative led Bradford council. One of whom Kris Hopkins is so proud of the work he did here, that now he's an MP in Keighley, wants to split Keighley from the BMDC and have nothing to do with it.
But on top of all that, the council have been handed the single most brilliant "get out of jail" card by the government. With the LGA finance cuts over the last 5 years, they have lost 40% of their local service budget and on top of that are now expected to provide services formerly handled by the DWP. Here's an analogy of that situation for you, so it's easy to understand.
A man works and comes home giving his wife his wages to pay the bills, he gives her £100 for a weeks bills, then each week he reduces it by 10% or £10, until she is left with £60 to pay the bills.......... Then he tells her "Oh by the way, as well as paying the bills, I want you to pay next door's bills as well." That's what the government have done to councils, taking 40% of their budget, expecting them to provide the same services, AS WELL AS take over the social fund which the DWP no longer run as it was abolished in April 2013, which means no crisis loans, no community care grants, no independent living fund. So the council by law HAVE to provide the service instead.
So yes, the council have made some blunders, but the fault isn't totally theirs.
Careful you're talking far too much sense to be commenting here!
Roll on next May and we can get the nasty party out and with luck their lapdog partners will be consigned to the political dustbin.
[quote][p][bold]dellorri[/bold] wrote: Oh I grant you, much of the many fiascos of the last couple of years have been down to the ineptitude and stupidity of this present council. But you also have to realise, they were NOT the ones who got us into the WASTEFIELD trap, and much of the set in stone "regeneration" contracts are down to good old Barra McRuari and the rest of the then conservative led Bradford council. One of whom Kris Hopkins is so proud of the work he did here, that now he's an MP in Keighley, wants to split Keighley from the BMDC and have nothing to do with it. But on top of all that, the council have been handed the single most brilliant "get out of jail" card by the government. With the LGA finance cuts over the last 5 years, they have lost 40% of their local service budget and on top of that are now expected to provide services formerly handled by the DWP. Here's an analogy of that situation for you, so it's easy to understand. A man works and comes home giving his wife his wages to pay the bills, he gives her £100 for a weeks bills, then each week he reduces it by 10% or £10, until she is left with £60 to pay the bills.......... Then he tells her "Oh by the way, as well as paying the bills, I want you to pay next door's bills as well." That's what the government have done to councils, taking 40% of their budget, expecting them to provide the same services, AS WELL AS take over the social fund which the DWP no longer run as it was abolished in April 2013, which means no crisis loans, no community care grants, no independent living fund. So the council by law HAVE to provide the service instead. So yes, the council have made some blunders, but the fault isn't totally theirs.[/p][/quote]Careful you're talking far too much sense to be commenting here! Roll on next May and we can get the nasty party out and with luck their lapdog partners will be consigned to the political dustbin. allinittogether
  • Score: 0

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