Ghap Shap with Cllr David Green
By Aalia Khan
Being the leader of Bradford Council has its own set of responsibilities, pressures and requirements. David Green however, has taken on these challenges in his stride and works hard to improve his City.
Green believes that along with the pressures of the job he also gains great rewards such as “The ability to deliver benefits on the ground for people of the district.” Being the Leader of the council differs from being a frontline councillor or MP, Green agrees with this and says “It’s a different role from being a front line councillor and a ward councillor, although I do that aswel. And it’s certainly different from being an MP who has an even more strategic role.” He also goes on to explain that at times the council have to deal with the repercussions of the decisions made by the MP’s which is not always convenient, “Quite often as a council we have to deal with the reality of the decisions that MP’s make and to be blunt, I think sometimes MP’s don’t actually recognise what the reality of decisions they make on the ground is going to be.”
When asked about the upcoming May elections Green was confident that the Labour party would be successful is gaining the majority in Bradford as they can “Justifiably claim to have delivered on the promises made at the last election or the ones before that.” However he does acknowledge that “National issues are going to bear a part in how people decide to cast their vote.”
Green also stated that the “Failure of sitting M to deliver anything for Bradford” and the Labour party’s “Record of local delivery” have increased their chances in securing a win in Bradford this year.
Bradford has faced severe spending cuts consisting of £160million since 2010, and another £130million projected for the next 5 years, however Green says that the council will “Protect universal services but also ensure that the most vulnerable get the support they need.” Additionally they will invest in a way that helps people move forward from living in deprivation and poverty. That includes improving education and skills, creating jobs and improving infrastructure, “All of which we are in the process of doing” says Green.
According to Green it is easier to invest in short-term services but if Bradford is to move forward as a district we need to have people who are “Well educated with flexible skills and be able to support people wanting to invest in the district to create those jobs. That will create wealth and income for the local population, growth in the economy, improvement in skills base and education and we need good quality affordable housing.”
Bradford has moved ahead over the last few years and Green says these achievements can be seen with the progress of the Westfield shopping centre, giving the Odeon new life, investment in Keighley and Shipley, building more houses and improving the education sector by identifying and addressing certain challenges.
Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway has been controversially known for his public statements, one such statements of reducing councillors in Bradford rendered this response from Cllr Green “George Galloway has views on many things most of which I disagree with. If Mr. Galloway engaged in any way shape or form with local councillors and council he may have a different view, but I just believe that it’s one of his populist statements and I’d rather spend time discussing with him the real issues facing this district and what he can do about it.” Green has warmly extended this invite to Galloway in the past to meet up but “Unfortunately he’s never been willing to engage so I’ve never had the opportunity” He says. The offer still stands should Galloway which to take it up.
To sum up Bradford Cllr Green says it is a “Complicated” City but it is “A district that has punched below its weight for too long and is now moving forward and being recognised regionally and nationally as the city with one of the fastest growing economies in the region. But we need to continue to move forward and build on the successes.”
Things you didn’t know about Cllr David Green:
- Favourite food – Anything edible, as long as no carrots in it
- Favourite hobby – Reading
- Favourite place in Bradford? – I’d get into trouble if I don’t say ‘at home with the family’ but the beyond that the moors
- Favourite film? – either the commitment or the blues brothers
- Favourite holiday destination? – United states
- What profession you wanted to go into as a kid? – Professional sportsman or Fireman