Bradford Council funding reduction is less than expected

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: City Hall City Hall

A multi-million-pound funding gap in the Council’s finances for the coming year is not as bad as first thought, a new report shows.

The authority had been expecting a £38 million funding reduction for 2014/15.

Now a one-off £4m handout from the Schools Forum and a raft of changes announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement mean the cut will be about £6m less, at £32m.

But there will be disappointment for those hoping the news might stave off a controversial cuts package.

The authority’s proposed savings plan – which includes cuts to children’s centres, youth services and libraries – would only save £29 million if implemented in full, the new financial report reveals.

A Council Tax rise of 1.6 per cent would bring in a further £2m, but the authority would still have to find £1m to balance its books.

Its leader, Councillor David Green, said the financial outlook remained “bleak” and again warned of impending cuts to frontline services.

He said: “The scale of the Government’s cuts means that an impact on frontline services is inevitable.

“We are faced with stark choices about what services to reduce, what to do differently and what to stop doing altogether because the reality is that the Council cannot continue to pay for all the services local people currently use.”

And he said the £1m funding gap expected next year would increase to £15m the year after.

Councillor Glen Miller, leader of the Conservatives, welcomed the “more favourable Government provision” which meant they would have more money than previously thought.

And he also pointed out an expected underspend of £3.7m in this year’s budget, saying the authority could afford to freeze Council Tax.

He said: “Labour keeps going on about the cost of living but proposes to increase that cost for every household in Bradford.

“The Conservatives won’t support increasing Council Tax while extra cash for local families can go to making their lives just a little bit more comfortable.”

Of this year’s underspend, £2.2m will be added to reserves while £1.5m not spent by children’s services will be spent next year instead, the report by director of finance Stuart McKinnon-Evans says.

The Council already has £17.6m in unallocated reserves.

The report says this would “provide the Council with some short-term cover” against the funding gap in 2014/15 and 2015/16.

The executive will meet on Tuesday to consider the report ahead of the Full Council budget meeting on February 20.

Comments (5)

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11:01am Wed 29 Jan 14

pjl20 says...

With the cost of living continuing to increase, despite the government claim that inflation has fallen by 2% and earnings still taking a dive. How will Bradford MDC raise an increase in council taxes paid by householders in the metropolitan borough?
With the cost of living continuing to increase, despite the government claim that inflation has fallen by 2% and earnings still taking a dive. How will Bradford MDC raise an increase in council taxes paid by householders in the metropolitan borough? pjl20
  • Score: 0

1:23pm Wed 29 Jan 14

theoutsider says...

Its leader, Councillor David Green, said the financial outlook remained “bleak” and again warned of impending cuts to frontline services.

Hey up Green's pleading poverty - this from a Council who slewed £30MILLION on an ornamental pound for Green and Co to gawp at all day. A Council who have £millions worth of paintings locked away in vaults in City Hall. A Council who's waste and excess beggers belief.
Its leader, Councillor David Green, said the financial outlook remained “bleak” and again warned of impending cuts to frontline services. Hey up Green's pleading poverty - this from a Council who slewed £30MILLION on an ornamental pound for Green and Co to gawp at all day. A Council who have £millions worth of paintings locked away in vaults in City Hall. A Council who's waste and excess beggers belief. theoutsider
  • Score: 4

4:10pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Yorkshire Lass says...

It would be better if the Council learned to work together instead of slagging each other off. Councillor Green (Labour) is forever having a go at Councillor Miller (Conservative). Its very nice that the present conservative government are treating Bradford to "special extra funding" for a few projects and hopefully the funding will be spent wisely. I won't hold my breath though on their previous record.
It would be better if the Council learned to work together instead of slagging each other off. Councillor Green (Labour) is forever having a go at Councillor Miller (Conservative). Its very nice that the present conservative government are treating Bradford to "special extra funding" for a few projects and hopefully the funding will be spent wisely. I won't hold my breath though on their previous record. Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: 1

4:31pm Wed 29 Jan 14

alive and awake says...

Roll on the next elections.
Roll on the next elections. alive and awake
  • Score: 1

10:41pm Wed 29 Jan 14

spottedsnake says...

As the council has all that money to spare,plus all the money they spend on projects that benefit no-one, perhaps they should reconsider why they are the only council in the area to demand council tax from the benefits of dis\abled people who cannot work through no fault of their own?
As the council has all that money to spare,plus all the money they spend on projects that benefit no-one, perhaps they should reconsider why they are the only council in the area to demand council tax from the benefits of dis\abled people who cannot work through no fault of their own? spottedsnake
  • Score: 1

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