COUNCIL tax payers across Ilkley will fork out more from the spring.

Bradford Council plans to increase general council tax by 1.9 per cent – plus there will be a two per cent social care precept to help support the district’s stretched care system.

The rise will mean a Band D household will have to pay an extra £54.79 a year.

But for the first time in several years, the budget discussion – at a meeting of the council’s executive – didn’t include any newly-announced job cuts.

One-off Government funding to key areas – including an extra £10 million for social care in Bradford – means the 2020/21 budget will be able to focus more on investment than cuts, council leaders were told.

Executive members heard that services which had been cut to the bone in recent years would now be getting more investment.

This included an extra £21m for children’s services, an extra £700,000 for the libraries budget, £24m worth of new projects to tackle climate change – including a major tree planting scheme – a £700,000 boost to welfare advice, £555,000 for mental health services and £700,000 to tackle childhood obesity.

Planned cuts of £500,000 to the museum service and £513,000 to the youth services have been delayed for at least a year.

A 50 per cent council tax discount provided to care leavers aged 18 to 21 will be expanded to leavers aged up to 25.

Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe said that since 2010, the Government had cut funding for Bradford Council by £278 million, adding: “Our spending power is now half of what it was in 2010.

“It is tremendously challenging for the people of our district and for our employees who have had to deliver more for less.

“I’ve always said you can’t cut your way out of austerity, you have to invest, and that is what we’re doing, investing in the city centre and town centres. We’re investing in all sorts of innovative ways.”

In recent years council budgets have included hundreds of job cuts, but Cllr Hinchcliffe said the 2020/21 budget would contain no new job losses. She said: “It hasn’t been pleasant sending out letters to staff each year telling them they might be made redundant in the coming year.”

Officers spoke about regeneration projects included in the budget.

The executive voted to begin a public consultation, and people can have their say at