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Victory as Bradford Council does U-turn on services cuts
The political group which runs Bradford Council has heard voters’ protests and found cash in the attic to save threatened services including children’s centres, public toilets and a plan to cut opening times at waste recycling sites across the district.
The amended budget includes the withdrawal of a proposal to close public toilets at Ilkley Riverside and a 12-month reprieve for children’s centres in Ilkley and Menston and Burley.
There is a withdrawal of a proposal to cut opening times at household waste and recycling sites and a reduction in proposed cuts to youth services from £3.2m to £1.45m.
Councillor David Green, the leader of the Labour-run authority, will present an amended budget to a special meeting of the full Council today, Thursday.
Coun Green said close examination had found extra money in council bank accounts which meant the pain of Government cuts could be temporarily eased a little further.
And he praised the general public for making it plain where the Council should prioritise its spending.
He said: “This is a council and an executive that listens and we have been listening to people’s concerns about out draft budget proposal “When we put the budget out to consultation, we said it would be meaningful and we have listened to people.
“We have managed to find some additional funding, but not everything. And that money has not been found painlessly.
“New efficiencies by and large means losing jobs and we are looking at losing some 600 jobs from those working for Bradford Council.”
Council tax is set to rise by an average of £3 a month as a result of a 1.6 per cent increase across Bradford if Labour’s budget is approved today, Thursday.
The opposition Conservative group has given a guarded welcome to some of the revised proposals contained within Labour’s amended budget proposals.
Tory deputy leader, Councillor Simon Cooke, said: “I was not overly surprised by the changes to the original budget proposals, though I do cautiously welcome some of them.
“I am pleased that the threatened children’s centres are safe, for the time being, due to the Schools Forum stepping in, but this is only for one year and at that time, we will be faced with a re-run of this year’s scenario.
“The executive is still talking about focussing on what it considers to be priority areas, which are generally the urban areas, while rural areas will lose out.”