COUNCIL tax is likely to rise in the coming year, but there will be no compulsory redundancies or major cuts to services.

Members of the public have been asked to have their say on Bradford Council’s budget plans for the 2021/22 financial year before the final budget is approved by the full Council in the New Year.

Although Council Tax is due to rise by 1.99 per cent, and a three per cent “social care surcharge” will be added on top of this, Bradford will seemingly avoid many of the cuts that seem to be included in neighbouring Council’s budgets.

At a meeting of the Council’s Executive on Tuesday one opposition Councillor pointed out that gloomy financial predictions from earlier in the year had not materialised, with a mix of Government support and Council reserves meaning massive cuts to staff and services were not needed.

At the meeting Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe pointed out the huge uncertainty that Councils had faced since the beginning of the pandemic, with millions needed to be spent on PPE and social care and plummeting income from theatres, leisure facilities and car parks.

Andrew Cross said a mixture of the pandemic and Brexit had led to “unprecedented levels of uncertainty” for Council finances.

The Council would need to use £12 million of its reserves to balance the budget, but it was in a better financial position than some forecasts had predicted at the beginning of the pandemic.

On top of regular spending, the budget includes:

– A package supporting services for vulnerable children in the District worth £6.5m to help manage increased social care caseloads, and improve services

– £2.4m to boost educational attainment by providing additional support over the academic year to help children to catch up in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic

– £1m to help improve skills and employability in response to increased unemployment

– £3.3m to support people with disabilities to remain in their own homes

– £360,000 to allow Housing First, a pilot scheme to reduce rough sleeping and homelessness in the District, to continue

– £2.4m for a new residential home for the elderly in Saltaire

At the meeting, held online, Councillor Mike Pollard (Cons, Baildon) pointed out the financial “black hole” predicted by the Council in July had been almost entirely filled by Government emergency grants.

Cllr Hinchcliffe said the Government needed to be much clearer in future as to how local authorities were being funded, pointing out that even before Covid there had been a lengthy delay in announcing future adult social care funding.

She said: “The Government don’t seem to want to increase national tax, but are happy for Council tax to have to rise to pay for services. They are putting the onus on the Council when they should be thinking about raising funds nationally.

“Council tax payers think they are paying for services like bin collections. They don’t think, and neither should they, that their Council tax is being spent on funding adult social care which is helping our NHS keep going.”

She said the uncertainty meant that the Council was producing a one year budget – it would normally plan its budget up to three years ahead.

The consultation and information about the proposals are available online on Bradford Council’s website at

Paper copies are available on request by calling 01274 431000.

Consultation will continue until January 15 Bradford Council’s budget will be set at Full Council on Thursday, February 18.