PARKS, libraries and low paid Council staff will get a boost in the coming year’s Bradford Council budget.

Tomorrow afternoon the full Council will meet to decide the 2020/21 budget - and yesterday the Council’s decision making Executive announced a number of last minute additions.

For the first time in years, the Council’s budget does not include any compulsory redundancies. However, Council Tax will rise by 1.9 per cent, and there will be an additional two per cent Social Care precept added to tax bills.

The last minute additions to the budget announced yesterday include:

- £150,000 to pay the lowest paid Council staff, such as cleaners and catering assistants, the living wage - £9.30 an hour.

- £350,000 towards the “cleaner streets” budget. The money will be used to support groups looking to organise community clean ups and litter picks.

- £500,000 further investment into the parks service to provide new sport, play and recreation spaces. This will be on top of a previously announced £6.4 million boost for the District’s play areas.

Last year the Council announced that it would be cutting the library service by £1.05 million. But shortly before Christmas it was revealed that £700,000 from the Council’s public health budget would be used each year to secure the future of the service.

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The Council argued that libraries provided vital public health services such as preventing loneliness. In future the library service would provide a greater health and wellbeing focus, as well as being a place where people go to borrow books or go online.

In yesterday’s announcements it was revealed that a further £200,000 would be invested in the library service this year to purchase “flexible shelving facilities.”

A report to the Executive said: “We are committed to an enhanced offer in our libraries, which will increasingly provide a space to support people’s health and wellbeing while continuing to promote reading, literacy and learning.

“This investment will support that transition by providing new shelving facilities so that libraries can be used more flexibly to deliver on these important aims.

“A flexible space will enable a wider choice of uses within a library to meet local needs at different times and give more options for delivering on the remit of being thriving community hubs that support people’s wellbeing in all kinds of ways.”

The Executive was told that the Government had not yet revealed this years financial settlement for local Councils’ meaning there was “uncertainty” over future funding for the authority.

Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said this uncertainty meant the Council was only able to draw up a one year budget - previous years have seen the authority plan its budget two years in advance.

The Council will meet in City Hall at 4pm tomorrow to discuss the budget plans.