Tories in call for Bradford Council’s £3m underspend to offset planned Council Tax increase

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tories in call for Bradford Council’s £3m underspend to offset planned Council Tax increase Tories in call for Bradford Council’s £3m underspend to offset planned Council Tax increase

Bradford Council should use an expected budget underspend of nearly £3 million to avoid “needless” Council Tax rises, the Tories have claimed.

Councillor Glen Miller, leader of the Conservative Group on Bradford Council, said it was “unbelievable” that the Labour-led administration had increased Council Tax by 1.99 per cent earlier this year to raise an extra £3 million when it now expected to under-spend this year’s budget by almost the same amount.

A further 1.6 per cent tax rise is planned for the next two years.

But Council leader Coun David Green hit back, calling Coun Miller’s comments a “cynical attempt” to distract people from Coalition Government cuts.

Coun Miller claimed the Labour-led authority had misled the public about the its finances to deliberately over-tax residents to pay for “pet projects”.

He said last year the authority had under-spent by about £3m, while this year the figure was expected to be £2.7m.

He said: “Each year we are told the situation has passed the critical point and the Council has no choice but to cut essential services and increase Council Tax in order to balance the budget, yet each year the budget comes in comfortably under-spent.

“It comes as no surprise to me that at the same time as being told this year’s budget will under-spend by nearly £3m, we are being told the budget for the coming year cannot be balanced without cuts to frontline services.

“This has happened for two years in a row and it appears local residents may be being misled in order to justify needless rises.”

But Coun Green said: “The Labour administration has always made it clear we are committed to making sure our drive for efficiency goes on all year, not just at budget time, and we work to keep costs down to try to mitigate the effects of the cuts.”

But he said the underspend amounted to only 0.6 per cent of the total Council budget, and did not make up for the “25 per cent plus being taken from Bradford by Government”.

He said: “This is a cynical attempt to portray the publically-stated policy of the Council as something sinister to distract attention from what their party is doing to us nationally ”

Comments (7)

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7:18am Wed 4 Dec 13

Albion. says...

"But Council leader Coun David Green hit back, calling Coun Miller’s comments a “cynical attempt” to distract people from Coalition Government cuts."

Well it might be, but why were us council tax payers overcharged Dave? Pay it back!
"But Council leader Coun David Green hit back, calling Coun Miller’s comments a “cynical attempt” to distract people from Coalition Government cuts." Well it might be, but why were us council tax payers overcharged Dave? Pay it back! Albion.

9:07am Wed 4 Dec 13

angry bradfordian says...

He said: “This is a cynical attempt to portray the publically-stated policy of the Council as something sinister to distract attention from what their party is doing to us nationally ”

It could be argued that Green's comments are also a cynical attempt to distract from the Council Tax rise.
One can only assume that if the Council Tax is rising by £3m and they underspent by £3m this year then we're going to be getting an announcement on an additional £6m worth of services that we're going to get next year?
He said: “This is a cynical attempt to portray the publically-stated policy of the Council as something sinister to distract attention from what their party is doing to us nationally ” It could be argued that Green's comments are also a cynical attempt to distract from the Council Tax rise. One can only assume that if the Council Tax is rising by £3m and they underspent by £3m this year then we're going to be getting an announcement on an additional £6m worth of services that we're going to get next year? angry bradfordian

9:38am Wed 4 Dec 13

Joedavid says...

So what happened to the £2.7m underspend and what will happen with the £3m underspend?
So what happened to the £2.7m underspend and what will happen with the £3m underspend? Joedavid

1:45pm Wed 4 Dec 13

terryjackman says...

Perhaps you could use it to put some Tarmac on our unmade roads in Queensbury, or is that too far away from the privileged areas?
Perhaps you could use it to put some Tarmac on our unmade roads in Queensbury, or is that too far away from the privileged areas? terryjackman

4:02pm Wed 4 Dec 13

alive and awake says...

They will put up Council tax so they can blame the coalition, and some idiots will believe them. this Council is sat on enough funds to reduce Council tax, but they don't care about us. They only care about keeping hold of their power mad positions. Blair ,Brown, Balls, Milliband, Flowers et al
They will put up Council tax so they can blame the coalition, and some idiots will believe them. this Council is sat on enough funds to reduce Council tax, but they don't care about us. They only care about keeping hold of their power mad positions. Blair ,Brown, Balls, Milliband, Flowers et al alive and awake

10:31pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Cityman23 says...

alive and awake wrote:
They will put up Council tax so they can blame the coalition, and some idiots will believe them. this Council is sat on enough funds to reduce Council tax, but they don't care about us. They only care about keeping hold of their power mad positions. Blair ,Brown, Balls, Milliband, Flowers et al
And which political party do you support I wonder, as if it wasn't obvious!!
Okay, I'll admit that my views are left of centre but I think Mr Glen Miller is being more than a tad disingenuous if he is suggesting that councils up/down the land aren't suffering cuts due to central government policy!

Yes, politicians will 'play politics' -no surprise there. But ultimately it is local politicians who will take the blame (I'd say unfairly) when local services are cut (and they are) due to central government policies. They are likely to be voted out in May for things NOT always within their control. I mean what is 'austerity' if it isn't cuts?!! By the way, apparently chancellor Osbourne has another £1billion of them planned for announcement in his autumn statement tomorrow...Or is that Labour party 'spin?.'

I believe it would be more honest for people on here to state their political allegiance BEFORE posting their 'thoughts'. That way, we might see where many 'are coming from'!!! Bias is something that can't be separated from ANY posters on here!
[quote][p][bold]alive and awake[/bold] wrote: They will put up Council tax so they can blame the coalition, and some idiots will believe them. this Council is sat on enough funds to reduce Council tax, but they don't care about us. They only care about keeping hold of their power mad positions. Blair ,Brown, Balls, Milliband, Flowers et al[/p][/quote]And which political party do you support I wonder, as if it wasn't obvious!! Okay, I'll admit that my views are left of centre but I think Mr Glen Miller is being more than a tad disingenuous if he is suggesting that councils up/down the land aren't suffering cuts due to central government policy! Yes, politicians will 'play politics' -no surprise there. But ultimately it is local politicians who will take the blame (I'd say unfairly) when local services are cut (and they are) due to central government policies. They are likely to be voted out in May for things NOT always within their control. I mean what is 'austerity' if it isn't cuts?!! By the way, apparently chancellor Osbourne has another £1billion of them planned for announcement in his autumn statement tomorrow...Or is that Labour party 'spin?.' I believe it would be more honest for people on here to state their political allegiance BEFORE posting their 'thoughts'. That way, we might see where many 'are coming from'!!! Bias is something that can't be separated from ANY posters on here! Cityman23

8:50pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Alhaurinrhino says...

Looks as though it's going to be a nice cold night so that should reduce the homeless bill by a few quid.
Looks as though it's going to be a nice cold night so that should reduce the homeless bill by a few quid. Alhaurinrhino

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