Bradford Council finance boss gives grim warning about authority's future

Bradford City Hall

Bradford City Hall

First published in News

THE finance boss at Bradford Council has given a grim warning about the authority's future.

Director of finance Stuart McKinnon-Evans said shrinking budgets meant he expected the Council's spending levels to have halved in size between 2010, when the cuts began, and 2021.

He called it a "seismic shift in the nature of the council" and warned that the public's expectations of what the authority could deliver would have to change.

Mr McKinnon-Evans was speaking at a meeting of the council's Executive yesterday, where he was presenting a report on the authority's financial strategy.

He said: "There is clearly the need for continued and significant cost reductions on all fronts. This, I think, will entail a prolonged but necessary task of resetting expectations among the citizens of Bradford in what can and can't be afforded."

Council leader, Councillor David Green (Lab), said major savings would need to be found regardless of which party won next year's general election.

He said the Council needed to work far more closely with other public services, like the police, Government departments or health services, to start sharing costs.

He said: "We need to be less protective about, 'This is my bit, this is your bit', and to start combining services and combining expenditure."

Cllr Green said he hoped for "sensible and mature conversations over the next couple of months", leading to agreements to deliver more public services jointly.

He added: "We are willing to work with anyone who is willing to work with us."

After the meeting, Conservative group leader Councillor Glen Miller said they had long suggested working more closely with other public bodies, and urged the authority to get on with it.

He said: "I'm pleased to see that the leader of the Labour group and the council is now echoing what our budget has suggested for the past two years. Shared services are the way ahead, but it does mean people sharing."

And Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: "The country was in a financial mess and there's still a huge amount of debt to be paid on the country's credit card. Local government will have to bear its share of paying off that debt."

She said she still believed there was duplication which could be removed, calling for better integration between health and social care services, for instance.

Comments (26)

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7:20am Wed 23 Jul 14

tinytoonster says...

still a lot of deadwood to cull.
still a lot of deadwood to cull. tinytoonster
  • Score: 17

7:54am Wed 23 Jul 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Union funding still in place even though employees pay subs via their wages. Why 5 years after cuts started is this ringfenced Cllr Green?
Union funding still in place even though employees pay subs via their wages. Why 5 years after cuts started is this ringfenced Cllr Green? Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 22

8:19am Wed 23 Jul 14

sorrow&anger says...

Now we know why Reeves decided to get out before his ten years were up. And who can blame him. There's another nasty round of redundancies coming and any hope of Bradford regenerating on the back of Council spending has disappeared.
Now we know why Reeves decided to get out before his ten years were up. And who can blame him. There's another nasty round of redundancies coming and any hope of Bradford regenerating on the back of Council spending has disappeared. sorrow&anger
  • Score: 38

8:25am Wed 23 Jul 14

Grumpygirl says...

This explains Cllrs Slater's and Hinchcliffe's 'grass for cash' approach to planning. Basically they're going to allow anything that boosts Council Tax income, which in practical terms means allowing greedy developers to build what they like on any bit of green field they fancy.

City Hall ruined Bradford with poor politics and worse planning, they are now about to do the same with what's left of our countryside.
This explains Cllrs Slater's and Hinchcliffe's 'grass for cash' approach to planning. Basically they're going to allow anything that boosts Council Tax income, which in practical terms means allowing greedy developers to build what they like on any bit of green field they fancy. City Hall ruined Bradford with poor politics and worse planning, they are now about to do the same with what's left of our countryside. Grumpygirl
  • Score: 34

8:29am Wed 23 Jul 14

Moe Bfd says...

Can we start with a reshuffle of the number of councillors per ward, we would save a lot there cllr Green..........
The so called work which the councillors do is available and information can be accessed via the internet
Can we start with a reshuffle of the number of councillors per ward, we would save a lot there cllr Green.......... The so called work which the councillors do is available and information can be accessed via the internet Moe Bfd
  • Score: 26

8:41am Wed 23 Jul 14

collos25 says...

BMDC should be held up in the world of how not to run a council full of inept people and corruption without end.
BMDC should be held up in the world of how not to run a council full of inept people and corruption without end. collos25
  • Score: 22

8:48am Wed 23 Jul 14

bluebluerobin says...

No business ever cost saved it’s way to prosperity. What City Hall and the Labour Group have to realise that, if they are to deliver the services their citizens have a right to, then they will not do it unless they can regenerate Bradford.

Yet there can be little faith in their ability to do this. Cllr. Hinchcliffe’s Buck Lane development was supposed to deliver hundreds of new science based jobs, and yet, after four years of effort and millions of pounds spent, the new jobs have completely evaporated along with the promised R&D based industries. At the same time her boss, Cllr Green, can’t even find anybody in the slightest bit interested in running his much vaunted ‘Producer City’ scheme.

And on top of this both the Chief Executive and the Director in charge of Strategic Regeneration fly the coop at the first possible opportunity. Good for them, bad for us.
No business ever cost saved it’s way to prosperity. What City Hall and the Labour Group have to realise that, if they are to deliver the services their citizens have a right to, then they will not do it unless they can regenerate Bradford. Yet there can be little faith in their ability to do this. Cllr. Hinchcliffe’s Buck Lane development was supposed to deliver hundreds of new science based jobs, and yet, after four years of effort and millions of pounds spent, the new jobs have completely evaporated along with the promised R&D based industries. At the same time her boss, Cllr Green, can’t even find anybody in the slightest bit interested in running his much vaunted ‘Producer City’ scheme. And on top of this both the Chief Executive and the Director in charge of Strategic Regeneration fly the coop at the first possible opportunity. Good for them, bad for us. bluebluerobin
  • Score: 25

8:48am Wed 23 Jul 14

A650 says...

Sorting out the website (see the story about the planning website fiasco) would be a good start.
Sorting out the website (see the story about the planning website fiasco) would be a good start. A650
  • Score: 22

8:49am Wed 23 Jul 14

JAtkinson says...

Continuation of Tories' harrying of the North. Odd that we have plenty of money when it's to pay for infrastructure, investment and reducing council tax (without commensurate loss of services) in the South.
Continuation of Tories' harrying of the North. Odd that we have plenty of money when it's to pay for infrastructure, investment and reducing council tax (without commensurate loss of services) in the South. JAtkinson
  • Score: 36

8:56am Wed 23 Jul 14

alive and awake says...

Why is Bradford Council still funding Unions? Stop it Know, get rid of Green, Bradford might be taken more serious then.
Then apply to the Government to be treated as special needs ,and request to be taken over and run properly.
Why is Bradford Council still funding Unions? Stop it Know, get rid of Green, Bradford might be taken more serious then. Then apply to the Government to be treated as special needs ,and request to be taken over and run properly. alive and awake
  • Score: 19

9:16am Wed 23 Jul 14

Johsay says...

What do people rely on the council for now?

No brass but can afford to loan the Bulls money (who knows if we'll ever see that again), or indeed repair City Hall at a high cost.

I felt it interesting to note that the council didn't spend its entire budget in the year again.
What do people rely on the council for now? No brass but can afford to loan the Bulls money (who knows if we'll ever see that again), or indeed repair City Hall at a high cost. I felt it interesting to note that the council didn't spend its entire budget in the year again. Johsay
  • Score: 19

9:24am Wed 23 Jul 14

pcmanners says...

Further proof that Socialists are unfit to run businesses. As fripperies like the City Park and failed investments like Buck Lane show. City Hall should be privatised, Council Tax scrapped and everybody should pay individually for the services they need.
Further proof that Socialists are unfit to run businesses. As fripperies like the City Park and failed investments like Buck Lane show. City Hall should be privatised, Council Tax scrapped and everybody should pay individually for the services they need. pcmanners
  • Score: -10

9:47am Wed 23 Jul 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

JAtkinson wrote:
Continuation of Tories' harrying of the North. Odd that we have plenty of money when it's to pay for infrastructure, investment and reducing council tax (without commensurate loss of services) in the South.
You one of these who moans on about cuts in the south being £50 per head when cuts in the north are £100 per head without taking into account spending per head in the south is £400 per head and spending per head in the north is £1000 per head?

Easy to bend statistics if you hide the bit you don't want people to see.
[quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: Continuation of Tories' harrying of the North. Odd that we have plenty of money when it's to pay for infrastructure, investment and reducing council tax (without commensurate loss of services) in the South.[/p][/quote]You one of these who moans on about cuts in the south being £50 per head when cuts in the north are £100 per head without taking into account spending per head in the south is £400 per head and spending per head in the north is £1000 per head? Easy to bend statistics if you hide the bit you don't want people to see. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: -6

10:18am Wed 23 Jul 14

Izzy Eckerslike says...

The obvious way out of all these financial difficulties is to get rid of all the street cleaners, refuse collectors, maintenance teams, parks wardens etc, etc. But whatever you do - make sure that you replace the £180.000 a year CEO, probably at an even bigger salary, because the city can't possibly function without one, and recruit more like him, plus of course any other highly overpaid positions that become vacant due to the stress of running a brilliant city like, er, Bradford?!
The obvious way out of all these financial difficulties is to get rid of all the street cleaners, refuse collectors, maintenance teams, parks wardens etc, etc. But whatever you do - make sure that you replace the £180.000 a year CEO, probably at an even bigger salary, because the city can't possibly function without one, and recruit more like him, plus of course any other highly overpaid positions that become vacant due to the stress of running a brilliant city like, er, Bradford?! Izzy Eckerslike
  • Score: 17

10:29am Wed 23 Jul 14

northern pig says...

pcmanners wrote:
Further proof that Socialists are unfit to run businesses. As fripperies like the City Park and failed investments like Buck Lane show. City Hall should be privatised, Council Tax scrapped and everybody should pay individually for the services they need.
I hope you are including the people who are living in social housing for nowt and only paying 25% council tax.Or do they continue to get a free ride?
[quote][p][bold]pcmanners[/bold] wrote: Further proof that Socialists are unfit to run businesses. As fripperies like the City Park and failed investments like Buck Lane show. City Hall should be privatised, Council Tax scrapped and everybody should pay individually for the services they need.[/p][/quote]I hope you are including the people who are living in social housing for nowt and only paying 25% council tax.Or do they continue to get a free ride? northern pig
  • Score: 7

10:30am Wed 23 Jul 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Thee Voice of Reason wrote:
JAtkinson wrote: Continuation of Tories' harrying of the North. Odd that we have plenty of money when it's to pay for infrastructure, investment and reducing council tax (without commensurate loss of services) in the South.
You one of these who moans on about cuts in the south being £50 per head when cuts in the north are £100 per head without taking into account spending per head in the south is £400 per head and spending per head in the north is £1000 per head? Easy to bend statistics if you hide the bit you don't want people to see.
Getting voted doubt by the lefties no doubt.

In 2011-12 the grant formula from the government in Bradford was £527 per head.
In the same year Bristol a similar size City in the south was £411 per head.
Buckinghamshire was £132 per head.

So when funding starts off different in the first instance going on about cuts as value makes no sense.

You can't cut £150 per head from Buckinghamshire because they don't get that in the first place. So anyone who says Bradford have had £150 cut so should Buckinghamshire is an idiot. If Bradford had a cut of £150 the same cut in Buckinghamshire would be £37. The lefties though compare the £150 against the £37 and scream it is unfair, not pointing out that Bradford gets nearly £400 per head more in the first place.
[quote][p][bold]Thee Voice of Reason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: Continuation of Tories' harrying of the North. Odd that we have plenty of money when it's to pay for infrastructure, investment and reducing council tax (without commensurate loss of services) in the South.[/p][/quote]You one of these who moans on about cuts in the south being £50 per head when cuts in the north are £100 per head without taking into account spending per head in the south is £400 per head and spending per head in the north is £1000 per head? Easy to bend statistics if you hide the bit you don't want people to see.[/p][/quote]Getting voted doubt by the lefties no doubt. In 2011-12 the grant formula from the government in Bradford was £527 per head. In the same year Bristol a similar size City in the south was £411 per head. Buckinghamshire was £132 per head. So when funding starts off different in the first instance going on about cuts as value makes no sense. You can't cut £150 per head from Buckinghamshire because they don't get that in the first place. So anyone who says Bradford have had £150 cut so should Buckinghamshire is an idiot. If Bradford had a cut of £150 the same cut in Buckinghamshire would be £37. The lefties though compare the £150 against the £37 and scream it is unfair, not pointing out that Bradford gets nearly £400 per head more in the first place. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 13

10:37am Wed 23 Jul 14

Avro says...

Bradford is bankrupt, get used to it!
Bradford is bankrupt, get used to it! Avro
  • Score: 12

10:37am Wed 23 Jul 14

Albion. says...

collos25 wrote:
BMDC should be held up in the world of how not to run a council full of inept people and corruption without end.
And yet every time there is a local election the same old faces get back in, along with a few highly suspect multi school governors. Too many of the electorate have agendas other than traditional local politics.
[quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: BMDC should be held up in the world of how not to run a council full of inept people and corruption without end.[/p][/quote]And yet every time there is a local election the same old faces get back in, along with a few highly suspect multi school governors. Too many of the electorate have agendas other than traditional local politics. Albion.
  • Score: 23

10:53am Wed 23 Jul 14

Papa Quebec says...

Scrap funding the Unions. Don't appoint a new Chief Executive, and scrap the Chief Executive's 'Policy' groups. Scrap all entertainment in City Park, including the annual Bradford Festival. Transfer all other non-statutory services into charitable trusts, i.e. Art Galleries and Museums, Sport and Recreation, and Youth Services, as other local councils have already done.. Regeneration is also a non-statutory service. Regeneration should be considered in all decisions made by the Council. It doesn't need highly-paid graduates bringing forth their ideas.
The Council should also make a concerted effort to dispose of more of the land it owns. Scrap plans for a small swimming pool in the City Centre; leave it to the new Charitable Trust to decide the priorities.

Be very wary of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which is unaccountacble. We had an elected West Yorkshire Metroplitan County Council which was deemed to be an unnecessary level of Government.
Scrap funding the Unions. Don't appoint a new Chief Executive, and scrap the Chief Executive's 'Policy' groups. Scrap all entertainment in City Park, including the annual Bradford Festival. Transfer all other non-statutory services into charitable trusts, i.e. Art Galleries and Museums, Sport and Recreation, and Youth Services, as other local councils have already done.. Regeneration is also a non-statutory service. Regeneration should be considered in all decisions made by the Council. It doesn't need highly-paid graduates bringing forth their ideas. The Council should also make a concerted effort to dispose of more of the land it owns. Scrap plans for a small swimming pool in the City Centre; leave it to the new Charitable Trust to decide the priorities. Be very wary of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which is unaccountacble. We had an elected West Yorkshire Metroplitan County Council which was deemed to be an unnecessary level of Government. Papa Quebec
  • Score: 18

11:38am Wed 23 Jul 14

Izzy Eckerslike says...

Cllr Sunderland seems to be the only one in City Hall who talks sense, and I'm most definitely not a supporter of her party. Perhaps she should be the Leader of the Council, and besides I'm sure she looks very much more comfortable in earrings than the present incumbent, and she would present a much better public face as well!
Cllr Sunderland seems to be the only one in City Hall who talks sense, and I'm most definitely not a supporter of her party. Perhaps she should be the Leader of the Council, and besides I'm sure she looks very much more comfortable in earrings than the present incumbent, and she would present a much better public face as well! Izzy Eckerslike
  • Score: 14

12:59pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Mike Strutter says...

Until council departments get out of the mindset of spending any surplus in their annual budget beacuase they won't be given it the following year then nothing will change.
Until council departments get out of the mindset of spending any surplus in their annual budget beacuase they won't be given it the following year then nothing will change. Mike Strutter
  • Score: 8

1:50pm Wed 23 Jul 14

basil fawlty says...

Unfortunately self preservation rules in Council departments, not how best to serve the public.
Unfortunately self preservation rules in Council departments, not how best to serve the public. basil fawlty
  • Score: 4

3:32pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Steve30d says...

Papa Quebec wrote:
Scrap funding the Unions. Don't appoint a new Chief Executive, and scrap the Chief Executive's 'Policy' groups. Scrap all entertainment in City Park, including the annual Bradford Festival. Transfer all other non-statutory services into charitable trusts, i.e. Art Galleries and Museums, Sport and Recreation, and Youth Services, as other local councils have already done.. Regeneration is also a non-statutory service. Regeneration should be considered in all decisions made by the Council. It doesn't need highly-paid graduates bringing forth their ideas.
The Council should also make a concerted effort to dispose of more of the land it owns. Scrap plans for a small swimming pool in the City Centre; leave it to the new Charitable Trust to decide the priorities.

Be very wary of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which is unaccountacble. We had an elected West Yorkshire Metroplitan County Council which was deemed to be an unnecessary level of Government.
Investment/regenerat
ion can work on many levels. Educational establishments are local knowledge based businesses. How about encouraging subject relevant voluntary project work? Such can look good on a student's CV, should be good for council/tax payers. It would be interesting to know if such would be good for the educational establishments themselves- No expert but such seems like good PR/free advertising if nothing else

...Might a building college be able to help out. If students are gonna be building walls and knocking the same wall down a few weeks later, might it be more productive for the council to "tender" such work to a college.

The council's planning web site seems to shows how badly computer systems can be implemented. Say there was 20 students all trying to write software that did the job better. Maybe some of them would manage to do better? And they might get a job as a result of doing that

Students might have better idea re bus lanes, or even a swimming pool? Encourage them to invest a bit of time/effort in Bradford's infrastructure and more might choose to hang around.
[quote][p][bold]Papa Quebec[/bold] wrote: Scrap funding the Unions. Don't appoint a new Chief Executive, and scrap the Chief Executive's 'Policy' groups. Scrap all entertainment in City Park, including the annual Bradford Festival. Transfer all other non-statutory services into charitable trusts, i.e. Art Galleries and Museums, Sport and Recreation, and Youth Services, as other local councils have already done.. Regeneration is also a non-statutory service. Regeneration should be considered in all decisions made by the Council. It doesn't need highly-paid graduates bringing forth their ideas. The Council should also make a concerted effort to dispose of more of the land it owns. Scrap plans for a small swimming pool in the City Centre; leave it to the new Charitable Trust to decide the priorities. Be very wary of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which is unaccountacble. We had an elected West Yorkshire Metroplitan County Council which was deemed to be an unnecessary level of Government.[/p][/quote]Investment/regenerat ion can work on many levels. Educational establishments are local knowledge based businesses. How about encouraging subject relevant voluntary project work? Such can look good on a student's CV, should be good for council/tax payers. It would be interesting to know if such would be good for the educational establishments themselves- No expert but such seems like good PR/free advertising if nothing else ...Might a building college be able to help out. If students are gonna be building walls and knocking the same wall down a few weeks later, might it be more productive for the council to "tender" such work to a college. The council's planning web site seems to shows how badly computer systems can be implemented. Say there was 20 students all trying to write software that did the job better. Maybe some of them would manage to do better? And they might get a job as a result of doing that Students might have better idea re bus lanes, or even a swimming pool? Encourage them to invest a bit of time/effort in Bradford's infrastructure and more might choose to hang around. Steve30d
  • Score: 2

4:27pm Wed 23 Jul 14

G_Firth says...

All I'm going to say is what the hell did they expect when every single council in the country got rid of their largest revenue maker. namely council houses.
You all only have yourselves to blame as you voted them into office.
Large is not the way to go now it just does not work as it floods areas with services they don't need while depriving other areas of services they do need.
The time to split BDMC into two or even three smaller district councils has never been more apparent than now because the smaller councils can focus better on areas where they need to focus on.
This can be seen in other councils that have already done this and are now thriving with better services they actually need and not what they do need, there is even a couple of them that actually have a surplus and are doing even more for their regions.
But here is a kicker for BDMC.
Instead of plowing ahead with their super pool idea why not use that money to build new social housing that they control or even buy back some from the housing association where at least they will have a steady income of revenue
All I'm going to say is what the hell did they expect when every single council in the country got rid of their largest revenue maker. namely council houses. You all only have yourselves to blame as you voted them into office. Large is not the way to go now it just does not work as it floods areas with services they don't need while depriving other areas of services they do need. The time to split BDMC into two or even three smaller district councils has never been more apparent than now because the smaller councils can focus better on areas where they need to focus on. This can be seen in other councils that have already done this and are now thriving with better services they actually need and not what they do need, there is even a couple of them that actually have a surplus and are doing even more for their regions. But here is a kicker for BDMC. Instead of plowing ahead with their super pool idea why not use that money to build new social housing that they control or even buy back some from the housing association where at least they will have a steady income of revenue G_Firth
  • Score: 9

5:58pm Wed 23 Jul 14

tinytoonster says...

Thee Voice of Reason wrote:
Thee Voice of Reason wrote:
JAtkinson wrote: Continuation of Tories' harrying of the North. Odd that we have plenty of money when it's to pay for infrastructure, investment and reducing council tax (without commensurate loss of services) in the South.
You one of these who moans on about cuts in the south being £50 per head when cuts in the north are £100 per head without taking into account spending per head in the south is £400 per head and spending per head in the north is £1000 per head? Easy to bend statistics if you hide the bit you don't want people to see.
Getting voted doubt by the lefties no doubt.

In 2011-12 the grant formula from the government in Bradford was £527 per head.
In the same year Bristol a similar size City in the south was £411 per head.
Buckinghamshire was £132 per head.

So when funding starts off different in the first instance going on about cuts as value makes no sense.

You can't cut £150 per head from Buckinghamshire because they don't get that in the first place. So anyone who says Bradford have had £150 cut so should Buckinghamshire is an idiot. If Bradford had a cut of £150 the same cut in Buckinghamshire would be £37. The lefties though compare the £150 against the £37 and scream it is unfair, not pointing out that Bradford gets nearly £400 per head more in the first place.
they are voting you down because you are using big words they dont understand and making sense!
[quote][p][bold]Thee Voice of Reason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thee Voice of Reason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: Continuation of Tories' harrying of the North. Odd that we have plenty of money when it's to pay for infrastructure, investment and reducing council tax (without commensurate loss of services) in the South.[/p][/quote]You one of these who moans on about cuts in the south being £50 per head when cuts in the north are £100 per head without taking into account spending per head in the south is £400 per head and spending per head in the north is £1000 per head? Easy to bend statistics if you hide the bit you don't want people to see.[/p][/quote]Getting voted doubt by the lefties no doubt. In 2011-12 the grant formula from the government in Bradford was £527 per head. In the same year Bristol a similar size City in the south was £411 per head. Buckinghamshire was £132 per head. So when funding starts off different in the first instance going on about cuts as value makes no sense. You can't cut £150 per head from Buckinghamshire because they don't get that in the first place. So anyone who says Bradford have had £150 cut so should Buckinghamshire is an idiot. If Bradford had a cut of £150 the same cut in Buckinghamshire would be £37. The lefties though compare the £150 against the £37 and scream it is unfair, not pointing out that Bradford gets nearly £400 per head more in the first place.[/p][/quote]they are voting you down because you are using big words they dont understand and making sense! tinytoonster
  • Score: 2

8:01pm Wed 23 Jul 14

36a says...

Needs someone who has experience in cutting bureaucracy, by looking at it from a business perspective, preferably a manufacturing business who have HAD to cut or go out if business
Stop spending millions on consultants
Reduce school budgets. As an ex school governor I am appalled that schools have no comprehension whatsoever on cutting costs
Needs someone who has experience in cutting bureaucracy, by looking at it from a business perspective, preferably a manufacturing business who have HAD to cut or go out if business Stop spending millions on consultants Reduce school budgets. As an ex school governor I am appalled that schools have no comprehension whatsoever on cutting costs 36a
  • Score: 5

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