The Conservative Group on Bradford Council has proposed an alternative budget which
would see Basic Council Tax frozen and an Adult Social Care precept of just 1.5% this year.
Councillor Mike Pollard, Conservative Group Spokesman for Finance said, “The
Conservative Group recognise that this last year has been a financial nightmare for most
households throughout Bradford District and indeed the nation, with the incomes of many
people reduced by the loss of their employment, having their hours reduced, or being
The Labour led Council is proposing increasing Council Tax by a total of 4.99% but we feel
this is not the time to significantly increase Council Tax for the residents of the District. We
have gone through the Council’s budgets with a fine tooth comb to find ways to avoid this,
whilst also investing in important day to day services and those to help people get through the
health and emotional challenges caused by the Covid19 pandemic.
To put it simply, whilst our proposals at least match the Council’s proposed investments in
services essential to support local people and the local economy, we decided not to use the
option to increase the general Council Tax charge at all. We did not follow Labour’s lead of
imposing the maximum 1.99% increase and also, instead of proposing to increase the charge
towards the cost of Adult Social Care by the permitted 3% this year, we proposed spreading it
over two years at 1.5% each year, without reducing the money available to care for the
elderly. We are using un-needed Council reserves to plug the gap.
By choosing priorities that are of most importance for residents and removing funding from
those which aren’t, we have found money to withdraw some parking charges, spend more on
cleaning gutters and gullies to prevent or at least reduce flooding problems, increase spending
on street cleaning and fly tipping prevention and increase spending on gritting. All of these
are issues which are raised with my colleagues and I on a very regular basis.
In relation to the Covid19 pandemic, as well as the financial devastation it has wreaked, the
human impact has been catastrophic, particularly for those already vulnerable. Children and
young people spending formative years deprived of socialising at school and play and people
vulnerable to mental health issues in the same position, have been hit particularly hard.
The Conservative Group has budgeted for the Council to invest an additional £350,000 to
support young people deal with their physical and mental wellbeing. This must be a priority
to the Council going forward.
We also propose putting £600,000 into local communities so smaller local issues can be dealt
with quickly without council bureaucracy.
Overall we have produced a budget that has listened to the residents of the District and
focuses on key services and issues whilst keeping the basic council tax frozen."