Council tax payers in Bradford face a 2.5 per cent increase in 2009/10 after an agreement was reached between three political parties.

The ruling Conservatives have produced a budget for the next financial year with the backing of the Liberal Democrats and Green party.

Their combined votes mean, come tomorrow, the joint deal is expected to be rubber-stamped for approval at Bradford Council’s budget meeting.

A total of £435.1 million is needed to run the Council next year, which would be made up largely of a Government grant of £263.6m, and council tax receipts of £156.8m.

Tory group leader Councillor Kris Hopkins said: “I am delighted we have secured significant new funding for schools, Odsal Sporting Village, the City Park, a new health centre in Keighley and community hubs.

“As well as the large-scale improvements to the district’s infra-structure, it is hoped these projects will lead to the creation of significant numbers of jobs for local residents.”

Lib-Dem group leader Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, said: “Securing more resources to raise educational achievement, to provide additional apprenticeships for young people, to protect adults in need of social care and to mitigate against some of the worst effects of the recession across the district were the Liberal Democrat Group’s principal goals in these negotiations and I am satisfied that all of these objectives have been achieved.”

Green group leader Councillor Martin Love said: “Reducing our carbon emissions and having the environment at the core of our thinking when deciding how Bradford Council should best provide its services is not a luxury but a necessity in today’s world.”

The Labour group did not take part in the deal, and drew up their own budget which was presented at yesterday’s executive.

Its priorities included £9.7m increased investment in adult social services, securing key services, such as £1m to improve and refurbish branch libraries, a Council-run recruitment agency helping people into work and the reinstatement of city and town centre wardens, and £500,000 to regenerate small shopping areas. It would see an increase of 2.7 per cent in council tax.

Group leader Councillor Ian Greenwood said: “The Council lacks the capacity to deliver on major projects and therefore pass on value for money to residents.”


Spending plan

Key spending priorities include £200,000 towards a city centre older people’s centre, £500,000 on carbon management and an action plan, £120,000 on setting up a Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food in the district, £41,000 on retaining the free city centre bus and £100,000 on gritting.

A capital spending programme – mainly funded from the sale of Leeds-Bradford Airport – has also been drawn up.

The priorities are: £19.3 million into phase two of the Building Schools for the Future programme, £15m to Odsal Sporting Village and other sports facilities, £10m towards building a City Park in Centenary Square and £10m on a new school for children with special educational needs or behavioural difficulties.