Council Budget Consultation 20 September 2013
I am writing to invite your organisation to have its say on how Bradford Council deals with the £115 million hole in its budget over the next three years that is a consequence of Government spending cuts.
Council budgets have already been cut by over £100 million since 2010. We have tried our level best to protect frontline services as far as is possible but the harsh reality is that further cuts on the scale imposed by Government cannot be made without there being negative effects on local services. Everyone living or working in the District and every community will feel the impact in some shape or form.
Councillors face very tough choices about how best to use vastly diminished resources and which services will have to be cut back, rationed, charged for or stopped altogether. These are not the decisions that we came into politics to take but it falls to us to ensure that the choices we make are fair, honest and look to invest in the long term well being of the District, its people and prosperity as well as the need to balance budgets over the short term.
We also have a responsibility to talk to people openly and honestly about the challenges we face, about the future shape of services and about the most important priorities in which to sustain continued investment and effort and the things that are less important. That’s why I’m asking you to take part in the Council’s budget consultation as we grapple with the hardest spending decisions we have ever had to take.
The Council recently launched its formal budget consultation which will run until the budget is set in February 2014 and on 5 November 2013 the Council’s Executive will meet to decide what proposals to put forward for further detailed consultation. I want to hear your views both now and in the future when those more detailed proposals are on the table.
I’m not going to pretend that under these circumstances we can accommodate everyone’s priorities and desires but this Council does have a track record of listening and responding to peoples’ concerns. Your views do matter, they do count and they do influence decisions.
You can take part in the Council’s consultation via its web site at www.bradford.gov.uk/budget where you will also find a wealth of background information about Council budgets and spending. Alternatively you can write using our Freepost address:- Freepost RTLC-KEGA-JGRX, Bradford Council, Budget Consultation, Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 1HX.
You can also contact me directly in writing or via email at City Hall. Both myself and other members of the Executive will also be more than happy to talk to you in person.
Cllr David Green
Leader, Bradford MDC