A Liberal Democrat approach to Bradford is of a place where Councillors work hard for the people they represent, giving local people a voice in deciding how their local neighbourhoods should be run, regularly reporting back and keeping in touch with the people who elected them. They stand up for the vulnerable, champion learning , defend public services and have a passion for helping people to help themselves. The Link below will take you to our Manifesto for Bradford, inside you will find more details about our plans for the future.
Liberal Democrat Councillors believe that the best solutions are found by people working together in stark contrast to the “we know best” attitude of Labour. The economic crisis facing the country has made it far too easy for Labour in Bradford to make cuts to public services and blame the Government. We accept that the Council cannot be expected to spend money that it does not have but the Labour- run Council does have a say over what it chooses to spend its money on. Austerity is not solely to blame. Labour Councillors have a choice.
Labour Councillors in Bradford have spent millions of pounds in doing up buildings, consultant after consultant paid to write reports on projects that failed – just look how much money they have spent on trying to build swimming pools, heating projects and buying a car park to raise a miniscule income. They paid for 50 trips abroad for members and officers in the last five years and spent almost a million pounds and lost almost 3000 weeks of work because Labour failed to make the discipline and grievance process work properly.
Now they plan to spend another £98 million pounds on capital projects with thousands of pounds being spent on yet more consultants. Millions of pounds on cycle lanes for non-existent cyclists, thousands of pounds on new furniture, over £4 million to refurbish a set of offices and then closed them. These are choices made by Labour Councillors who at the same time have cut millions from front-line services to children and vulnerable adults.
The Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign to make the Conservatives in Government and indeed Labour politicians in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, both with big media operations and cash reserves, to give back to Bradford our fair share of public money.
We cannot support Labour Councillors in Bradford balancing the books of the District on the backs of the vulnerable, poorest and least able to pay.
It’s not surprising that Conservatives Councillors voted to push through the Council Tax Support Reduction Scheme without even a debate.
But it is truly shocking that Labour Councillors brought forward the scheme in the first place. Now just over 28000 working poor people find themselves with higher bills. Carers or those with the enhanced disability premium have had their exemption removed; this means hundreds and hundreds of pounds of extra costs for families with the biggest burdens to carry.
Bradford under Labour is failing to achieve good results for its people, it is failing to increase everyone’s wealth except that of its Councillors and it is failing to provide even basic care to vulnerable people or keep the streets clean and well lit. It really is time for a change.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Bradford
P.S. You can read our detailed manifesto here.