Have your say on Bradford Council's Proposed Financial Plan updated 2020-21
Bradford Council are updating their four-year budget plan, 2017-21, originally agreed in February 2017, to reflect changes that have emerged which affect the budget for 2020-21 and are consulting on these proposals with the consultation closing on Sunday 26th January 2020.
The proposals have been developed against a backdrop of considerable national uncertainty, but invest in priorities, aim to sustain services, and make no additional cuts that would mean redundancies in our workforce. This is the first time that this has been the case since 2011.
Some savings for future years were agreed in previous years’ budgets. These total £17.6 million for 2020-21, £9.1 million for 2021-22 and £5.5 million for 2022-23. These budget savings still have to be delivered.
A further £0.33 million of new savings are proposed, subject to consultation, in order to achieve a balanced position.
The plan proposes a package of priority investments that support inclusive economic growth; early support to the most vulnerable children, adults and families; improved health and wellbeing; measures to reduce and capture carbon as part of tackling the climate emergency; and resources to sustain important services and improve outcomes across the district’s communities.
These include a package of investment for One City Park, Bradford Live, the new Bradford Market, the Stronger Towns programme in Keighley and Shipley; progressing plans for City Village; and £1.4m support to Bradford’s UK City of Culture 2025 bid.
There is also £1m of additional support for action on the climate emergency, which includes planting a tree for every primary school child, work with local businesses to reduce waste and increase recycling; moorland flood alleviation and carbon stores; support for community-based environmental and renewable energy projects; expansion of 20mph zones; and a range of capital investments to reduce costs, carbon and congestion.
Other headline proposed investments include:
- Over £21m for Children’s Services, including £13.625m to meet demographic growth pressures – we indicated in our Medium-Term Financial Strategy in July that this scale of funding would be necessary at around £18m, and we can now confirm it is £21m
- £1.6m to meet demographic pressures in Adult Social Care
- £0.978m to address budget pressures in waste services
- £0.7m public health funding for an enhanced wellbeing offer alongside the standard library offer
- £0.7m to tackle obesity
- £0.555m for mental health
Some Budget proposals consulted on last year they are now proposing to reverse for one year only.
It has to be one year only because the Government has still not given any assurances of funding councils beyond next year.
The deferred cuts are as follows:
- £513,000 deferral of Youth Service saving
- £500,000 deferral of council call centre saving pending new model for Welfare Advice being introduced
- £500,000 deferral for Museums – this will give more time to remodel the museums service
It is proposed to increase Council Tax by 1.99%, plus the 2% social care precept which Government has sanctioned in order to contribute to rising care costs in the country.
Together that’s equivalent to an increase of £1.05 a week on a Band D property.
At the same time inflation and rising demand means that the council’s costs are increasing. A 1% increase in Council Tax raises around £2 million but a 1% increase in inflation and costs adds £4.5 million to the council’s cost base.
The remaining gap for 2020/21 of £2.2m is closed by use of reserves.
At its meeting on Thursday 2nd January 2020 the Council’s Executive committee recommended its Proposed Financial Plan updated 2020-21, including Council tax proposals, for consultation. You can read the Executive’s Proposed Financial Plan updated 2020-21
Working together with individuals, families, communities and each other our public services, voluntary and community sector and businesses can achieve far more than any single organisation working alone so we must harness all the district’s assets and resources in pursuit of our shared objectives.
Please tell Bradford Council what you think about the Executive’s proposals for spending and local taxes.
Tell them what matters most to you, give them your ideas about what could change, how they could increase income and what part you and others could play in meeting the challenges our district faces.
Feedback from the consultation process will inform the development of the Executive’s final budget recommendation which will be published in February 2020, prior to the Council meeting on Thursday 20th February 2020.
The Equality Impact Assessments
To ensure that the Council complies with its public sector equality duty, and to ensure budget setting is carried out in as fair and as transparent a way as possible, the draft proposals are subject to a systematic process of ‘Equality Impact Assessments’ (EIAs).
This EIA process helps show up whether any of the budget proposals may affect any particular groups more so than the district’s population as a whole. If this were the case, this would be considered to be a ‘disproportionate impact’ on those people.
Equality Impact Assessments have been carried out to support the development of the draft proposals. Where any potential disproportionate impact on the groups identified in the equality legislation is highlighted, they have considered actions that could be taken to mitigate those negative effects.
You can view these assessments in full, clicking here
How to take part and have your say
Website: you can give Bradford Council your views through their website
Post: you can send feedback by post, free of charge, as outlined below:
1. Use the printable form (PDF) or pick up a copy at a Bradford Council library or customer service centre.
2. Pop it in an envelope.
3. On the FRONT of the envelope – please write
Freepost Bradford Council
ONLY on the front, all in one line and in the middle of the envelope.
4. On the BACK of the envelope – please write
(and nothing else).
Please be as specific as you can in your feedback.
Tell them what your concerns are about the proposal(s) and what improvements or alternatives you think the Council should adopt.
If you are feeding back about more than one proposal, if possible please give your feedback separately for each particular proposal, such as on separate sheets of paper or in a clearly sectioned list. You can, of course, send this all to us together in the same envelope.