NO-ONE has yet been appointed to head up a team of Bradford’s top business leaders to shout about the city, it has emerged.
For months, Bradford Council has been looking for a major local business leader to chair a board marketing Bradford as a ‘Producer City’ - a place which excels at creating, making and trading products.
But its search has so far failed and the authority has now had to advertise nationally for the two-to-three-day-a-month role.
Three sub-boards have been formed, but of these only one has held a board meeting so far, a new council report reveals.
Opposition councillors have reacted with concern at the situation, and the general lack of progress of the ten-year Producer City initiative - which was unveiled 14 months ago.
Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Jeanette Sunderland said she was concerned that the board chairman could end up being someone from London, who would only visit Bradford for a couple of days a month.
She said: "It's worrying that what we seem to be doing is focusing very much on infrastructure, and that infrastructure is looking more and more remote from ordinary people's lives. That is a big worry."
And Councillor Glen Miller, leader of the Conservative group, said: "I worry, with the speed this is moving at, that this will be another grand policy that results in very little.
"I would hope that the time and energy that has been put in so far will not be wasted and hopefully we will get some speedier progress than we have had over the last 12 to 16 months."
But council leader Councillor David Green (Lab) insisted there had been no problem with finding a board chairman, and that they simply had not advertised it until now.
And he said the successful candidate would have to have "Bradford at their heart".
He added: "I hope it will be somebody who is based locally, but there may well be Bradfordians out there who still have links to the city but have moved, nationally or internationally."
On the speed of progress, he said: "I would rather get it right than get it done quickly."
The Producer City drive is a three-pronged plan by the Council, Bradford Chamber and the University of Bradford aimed at making Bradford the best place to run a business. It wants to create the right infrastructure, equip people with relevant skills and increase exports.