Bradford Council’s budget is “undeliverable” and will cause chaos for months to come, opposition leader Anne Hawkesworth has claimed.

The Conservative politician has accused the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups, which had the budget passed with support from Green councillors ten days ago, of shirking responsibility for making cuts.

But Council and Labour group leader, Councillor Ian Greenwood, has condemned the remarks, saying Coun Hawkesworth has previously publicly stated that her issues with the budget proposals had merely been “around the margins”.

Coun Hawkesworth has warned that the budget has left officers to find £14 million of efficiency savings in the coming year as part of the Changing our Council programme.

She said: “We believe that the budget unfairly abdicates responsibility for many tough political decisions from the controlling coalition of the Council to the chief executive and the service directors."

She criticised the “sloathesque response to managing the Council’s finances” saying the Labour group should have made greater progress on the change programme in the past year to avoid officers being forced to cut services to balance the books in the short-term.

In response, Coun Greenwood said: “In presenting her own budget proposals – which amounted to a small shopping list of political expenditure – she actually said the differences between the Conservative budget were at the margins so I can’t understand why, after 60 hours of meetings and many thousands of sheets of paper, she is coming out with something that has not been previously stated either publicly or in our discussions.

“I’m saddened by what is clearly designed to be cheap, political point-scoring when I thought we were moving beyond that to adopt a more mature approach.”

The rival budget drawn up by the Conservatives called for a £250,000 reduction in the Council’s subsidy of trade union convenors.

Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Jeanette Sunderland said: “Having sat in hundreds of hours of meetings with Councillor Hawkesworth, she never once raised these issues.

“I am astonished. In the Council chamber when we set the budget they were only small differences, they were around the fringes, about supporting her pet projects down the Aire Valley, but she agreed with the vast majority of the actions we were taking."

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