Council Budget 2024

8 Mar 2024
Cllr Stubbs Budget Speech

It is clear today that we are being asked to consider a budget that does not deliver the services, growth, or improvements that our district and its residents are crying out for. Labours Council budget will weigh heavy on the shoulders of residents for decades to come.

Higher charges, High taxes, Higher thresholds for services and Higher borrowing. And in return what we are offered from the Labour Group is poor.  Fewer Services, Fewer Amenities, Public assets sold off, Council Debt of almost £1 Billion pounds.

And for the next 20 years £1 in every £12 of Council Tax raised will be going to pay off Labour’s Credit Card. Worst of all that only gets the Council 1 and bit years through a five-year plan to bring the deficit under control. Barely a sticking plaster.

Liberal Democrats are clear that the Labour leadership have had to operate in the face of a Conservative Government that has neglected its duty to properly fund public services.

The pressure they have put all Councils under is immense, but it doesn’t explain away all the financial problems facing this Council no matter how hard the Labour Group Leader tries to make it seem that way.

The size of the deficit is not a surprise for any of us today.We have all seen this coming for 18 months at least, what is surprising for many is the response, A vague plan for £35 million a year in savings for the next 5 years however we only see £15.8m set out for year one. Everything else is kicked down the road. Increasing the odds of a return trips to Government for future bailouts in 2025, 2026 and beyond.

It is a pattern we have seen before in this Council.

Take the failure children’s services years Labour Councillors burying their heads in the sand, failing to support experienced Social Workers, Inspectors reports highlighting leadership failure ignored and tragically we all saw what that meant for some those children who needed us most.

No senior officer was fired, no politician resigned. A total lack of accountability.


The missed opportunities to improve services and help vulnerable children should not be reduced to numbers in the accounts, but that is where we are. £50 million pounds a year extra this Bradford’s premium to deal with Labour’s failure.

That is almost £1m per Labour Councillor per year because you all failed to tackle your executive and get a grip of the problems. 

Labour’s budget is littered with increased charges on residents who do the right thing, parking charges, permit charges, planning fees and more. Increased burdens placed on people in our district who follow the rules, obey the law, and make a positive contribution.

Missing is the extra effort to tackle those who break the law, we have millions set aside for new IT systems in this budget, millions more to offset any failures to deliver the budget plan! but no investment in enforcement no investment in protecting local communities.

People are tired of watch the lawless get away with it while they pay more for doing the right thing.

You cannot tell me, the £167,000 in parking charges cannot be found by ticketing the drivers who park where they want when they want ignoring Yellow Lines, White lines, and the Highway Code.

The budget doesn’t even offer the public a sense of how members in this chamber will play their part to bring costs under control.

No cuts for Councillors expenses or perks, we could ask the boundary commission to look again at holding council election once every four years or look again at the need for as many as 90 of us. On postage alone 4 yearly elections would save almost £2m pounds every cycle.

We are asking residents for more offering less and the only cuts that are off the table for Labour are those that directly affect Labour Councillors. Every document the Council produces states ‘we put Children at the Heart of everything we do’ today that includes loading those children with debt. It abandons the voluntary sector, fails to tackle criminality in the district and doesn’t even come close to solve the financial problems facing Bradford.

This is an awful budget made of Conservatives Government and Local Labour failures, it will have a devastating impact on the vulnerable and poorest. Liberal Democrats Councillors cannot support it


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