A CUT of £8m a year from care for the elderly and disabled was among a host of “very grim” savings plans unveiled by Bradford Council’s leader today.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe revealed how her authority plans to slash £82m from its budget by 2020, in a set of proposals which also included cuts to libraries, public toilets, street lighting and community halls.

At a press conference held at City Hall, she said: “All these services are valuable to Bradford. People often say to me, do you not realise how worthwhile that service is?

“The fact of the matter is that after six years of cuts, there is nowhere else to go but to cut into the heart and soul of the things we hold most dear and it s with deep regret that I have to announce these cuts today.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe blasted Chancellor Philip Hammond for failing to invest any more money in social care in his Autumn Statement, at a time when local councils were being told by 2020 they would get no more Government grants and would have to rely solely on the council tax and business rates they raise.

She said there was a “national funding scandal” around adult social care and in Bradford, which historically raises a relatively low amount through council tax, people would get an unfair deal.

She said: “The Government is expecting council taxpayers and local businesses to shoulder more of the cost of social care. In my view, they need to come clean and tell people they are making adult social care a postcode lottery, dependent on the historic council tax base of that place.”

In total, a further 416 jobs would be lost across the authority by 2019, on top of the 5,000 lost in the past five years.

The proposals, which will go out to public consultation before being finalised next year, include the closure of the Jamie’s Ministry of Food centre, which was one of four set up in deprived areas across the country to teach people the basics of cooking.

All public toilets, apart from those at the Mirror Pool in City park, would close.

Seven community halls would either be transferred to community groups or, failing that, closed altogether.

Libraries - many of which are already having to move to volunteer-run arrangements - will face further cuts.

Festivals and events, street lighting and road-sweeping would also face cut-backs.

Social care for the elderly and disabled would be transformed to focus on preventative work and efforts to keep people living independently in their own homes for as long as possible.

Councillor Val Slater, deputy leader of the council, told the Telegraph & Argus that a prevention-rather-than-cure approach was the best direction to take, regardless of any savings necessary.

She said: “Our concern is the length of time we have got to bring about this change.”

Bev Maybury, the council’s strategic director for health and wellbeing, said it was a realistic goal to try to save money this way, as other local authorities, such as Calderdale, had already done so.

She said afterwards, more people should be left “happy and satisfied” with the care they received, rather than less.

Councillor Simon Cooke, leader of the opposition Conservative group, said many of the cost-cutting measures being proposed had been suggested by the Tories over the years.

He said: “I’m pleased they are beginning to look at the proper use of public health funding, which we proposed last year, looking at ways they can support early intervention in social care.

“I think that is great news. I don’t think they have gone far enough but that’s a start.”

But he lamented a reluctance to “embrace the radical” and completely change the way the council does business.

He said: “Some of these things, like abolishing the role of Deputy Lord Mayor, strikes me as an irrelevance.”

Cllr Cooke said when technology meant the work of councillors was reducing, he was saddened to see there were no proposals to cut the number of council members.

He said: “It really sends that wrong message out there.

“They could have proposed a 10 per cent cut in our allowances. The leader could have taken a pay cut. There are a whole pile of things we could have done that would send the right message out, that actually, we are serious about this stuff.”

The leader of the Liberal Democrat group, Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, said: “We will be scrutinising every penny that has been spent because we need to focus on our priorities.

“We have already wasted thousands on failed projects and we continue to spend thousands on doing up the outside of buildings.

“We are continuing to do stuff that we need to just stop doing.”

Cllr Sunderland said she was concerned by the proposed cuts to social care amid a focus on preventative work.

She said: “There’s no cure for getting older.”