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Key points of the draft Bradford Council budget proposals
Adult and Community Services
Savings 2014-15: £6.823 million
Savings 2015-16: £7.921 million
Plans to stop providing social day care and to close Council day care centres over a three-year period, saving £904,000. The Council will invest a “significant amount of money” commissioning services but will not run them.
It also suggests reverting back to charging for its community alarm service, which has been provided free of charge for the past three years, with plans to charge £3 a week.
And it proposes making savings in its Supporting People budget by dampening demand by ensuring access to services is only available to “priority groups of people in the greatest need”.
But it said it remained committed to its Great Places to Grow Old strategy, which will see it invest in improving standards and accommodation for older and disabled people. The Labour group said its cost-cutting proposals involved “stronger commissioning” and pooling resources with partners and the NHS.
Savings 2014-15: £7.353 million
Savings 2015-16: £6.511 million
The draft budget would see the Council withdraw from seven Phase Three children’s centres to save £2.4 million over two years.
The axed centres would be ones where the level of need is lower than it is in some other parts of the district.
The catchment areas for the remaining children’s centres would expand and services, advice and support to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable families would be maintained.
Early learning provision would move from four locations to two, one in Bradford and one in Shipley.
And the youth services budget would be reduced by 79 per cent over the next two years, with cuts to management costs so “as much resource can be given to front-line services”.
Having youth workers in every ward would cease and services would be offered through two centres, one in Bradford and one in Keighley. There would be two youth workers in each Parliamentary constituency.
But the report said youth work estimated to be worth £15 million a year was undertaken by the voluntary and community sector and the Council would seek to “strengthen relationships”.
The document proposes ending the Necessitous Clothing Allowance, which is available to help parents buy school uniforms – suggesting that schools offer cash through their pupil premium instead.
It also suggests stopping transport entitlement to pupils travelling to faith schools to save £220,000 a year from 2015/16.
But the Labour group said it would protect adoptions, child safeguarding, protection and assessment, leaving care services, the youth offending team, Bradford Achievement Service, school governors service and school crossing patrols.
It also revealed plans to invest £500,000 on school improvements.
Regeneration and Culture
Savings 2014-15: £2.6 million
Savings 2015-16: £2.8 million
The mobile library and home delivery services would end. The report says the service accounts for 1.9 per cent of library users but five per cent of cost of the library service.
There are no plans to reduce the number of static libraries, but the authority would continue to move smaller libraries into alternative buildings. Museum services would be cut from five to four sites, with Manor House Museum in Ilkley transferring to community management.
The Council’s support for festivals will be phased out from 2015/16 and 2016/17, although it would help organisers look for other sources of funding.
The report says it would look at alternatives to town centre management, such as business improvement districts.
Environment and Sport
Savings 2014-15: £2.649 million
Savings 2015-16: £2.419 million
Weekly bin collections would remain and the Council would aim to increase kerbside recycling to save costs. It would also introduce two-weekly recycling collections.
Its household waste recycling centres would see their hours cut by one hour a day, with all but four sites closing for two days in the middle of the week.
The number of ward officers would be cut and the number of Council wardens reduced by a fifth. The Council would also cut its contribution to West Yorkshire Police towards PCSOs.
The authority would also cut the level of staff working in parks and woodlands over the winter months and have a larger workforce during the summer.
In 2014-16, it said it would “re-focus activity into areas that will bring more customers to use the Council’s sports facilities”, adding: “Working beyond 2015-16, proposals to invest in new swimming facilities will bring about a reconfiguration and replacement of existing outdated and costly older pools.”
Savings 2014-15: £2.9 million
Savings 2015-16: £2.3 million
The chief executive’s office costs would fall by 22 per cent – a £1.4 million reduction.
Support to political offices would be reduced and communications would see a further 25 per cent budget cut on top of the annual saving already made of nearly £2 million.
The Council would stop producing its newspaper Community Pride.
The Human Resources department would be “streamlined” further to save £1 million and it hopes to make £1 million savings from its IT budget.
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