By SEHERISH MAHMOOD
Bradford Council’s public consultation on its budget proposals for 2019-20 and 2020-21 will close on Sunday, 27 January 2019. The council is encouraging people to have their say, if they have not done so already.
Consultation started on 26 November 2018. Members of the public have had the opportunity to take part in an online survey, or fill in a paper questionnaire which was available in libraries and town halls around the district. The proposals were discussed at a number of meetings, including with parish and town councils; with the voluntary and business sectors; with public sector partners and directly with the people using services, such as for welfare advice and adult social care.
Information about the proposals has been available in a range of formats. Paper copies have been available at libraries and town halls, digital versions on the Council’s website and social media, and a short explanatory video has been published online. There have also been ‘easier to read’ and audio versions, to further increase the accessibility of the information.
Since 2011, Bradford Council has had to find £262 million of savings, as a result of Government cuts, rising demand for services and increasing costs. The Council’s budget proposals detail further proposed cuts £13.5 million for 2019-20 and £19.9 million for 2020-21. Also proposed is a Council Tax increase of 2.99% in 2019-20 (equivalent to £39.86 on a Band D property).
Kersten England, Bradford Council’s Chief Executive, said: “Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to feed into our budget consultation process so far. The Council takes this process very seriously and we have a strong track record of listening and responding to concerns raised through budget consultations. We make every effort to be as inclusive as possible, to help ensure that everyone who wants to input, has the opportunity to make their voice heard.
“We will close the consultation on 27 January, to allow our Executive the time to properly consider all the feedback gathered. There is still time to have your say through the survey on our website, so if you want to take part, please get online as soon as possible.”
The feedback gathered through consultation will be considered by the Council’s Executive on Tuesday, 5 February. The Executive’s final budget recommendation will be published on 19 February, in advance of the Full Council meeting on Thursday, 21 February 2019, where the Council will consider its spending plans for the next two financial years.
Once the budget is agreed there will still be opportunities for people to take part in engagement and consultation activity, as proposals are implemented, to ensure they are delivered in a way that works for residents, partners and businesses.
More information about the budget proposals and consultation can be found on Bradford Council’s website.