Street cleaning services to be cut by £1 million next year

By ANISAH ARIF

Street cleaning services in Bradford will be cut by £1 million next year the Council revealed.

Bradford Council states it is planning to “transform” its services to better handle the cuts.

The changes will see at least 25 front line staff to be lost who clean our Bradford streets. Councillors have expressed their concerns over the changes with the changes expected to take place in April.

As the council is under pressure to dramatically reduce its budget in the coming years, the £1 million cut to the street cleansing budget is one of its first steps.

It will also merge its street cleaning service with its parks service to “ensure greater efficiency.”

Council wardens will also be split into two roles, civil enforcement and community engagement/environmental enforcement, with staff sharing roles like grass cutting and emptying litter bins.

A report sent to Bradford’s five area committees said: “The Street Cleansing budget is currently £4.7m.

“The service is having to save over £1m in 2019/20 with a reduction in staffing and vehicles. Work is ongoing with the trade unions to redesign the service within the reduced financial envelope.”

Council officers have been visiting the different area committees in the past week to discuss the plans with members.

As for where the job losses would be, the Bradford West Area Committee said it would yet be finalised. But they were told for Bradford West the number of street cleaners was likely to drop from around 16 to 12.

In the same report members were told that the number of calls made to street cleansing teams has risen by a fifth in the past year. The call outs were for issues like litter, leaves, dog fouling and overflowing litter bins.

In the April to October period there was 3,051 call outs to street cleansing teams in the district. This was up 21 per cent from 2,512 in the same period last year.

Councillor Sarfraz Nazir (Labour, Manningham) was conscious that the report didn’t include more detail of what the changes would mean for his constituents.

He said: “These are front facing services. This is what people are paying their Council Tax for. Cuts like this are the biggest impacts our constituents are going to see.”

Describing the restructure, the report says: “The merger of Parks and Street Cleansing will develop a pathway forward for more integrated working between all aspects of the neighbourhood services in the future with staff being more interchangeable in their daily tasks. There will be closer synergies and more opportunities for joined up working.”

Officers agreed to come back to the committee in January when they will have more detail on how the cuts will hit each individual constituency.

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