BRADFORD Council’s Labour leadership warned the government that council funds are at 'breaking point' ahead of the local authority’s budget setting meeting tonight.

The councillors of the Labour Group gathered to make their point at City Park this afternoon before they entered the council chamber to debate the latest round of reductions.

Since 2011, Bradford Council has announced cuts of £262m while meeting rising demands for services.

The government is cutting its main grant to Bradford Council from £183m in 2013/14 to zero by 2020.

At last night's council budget meeting, the local authority was debating the Executive’s proposals which set out how the council would deliver cuts of £16.1m for 2019-20 and a further £17.4 million in 2020-21.

Even if those cuts are delivered in full, the authority faces a forecast funding gap of £28m in 2020/21 between the money it has coming in and the cost of the services it currently provides.

Faced with similarly big holes in their budgets from the withdrawal of government funding, almost all councils in England (97%) plan to increase council tax in 2019/20, of which three-quarters expect a rise of more than 2.5%.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: “These cuts faced by everyone in our district are at the government’s door.

"This council has had to make £262m of cuts since 2011 due to the government’s failing austerity programme.

"We’re heading for a full decade of government cuts with no end in sight.

"As a Labour Group we are saying loud and clear that council budgets are at breaking point and the people of our district deserve better.

"People constantly tell us that they expect and rely on high quality local services and they are sick of the cuts.

"It’s time once and for all that the government invests in our district’s potential and works with us to deliver on our ambitions for all the people of the Bradford District.”

  • For a full report of tonight's budget meeting, see our website this evening