Lib Dem Councillor Rachel Sunderland has written to Bradford’s “Poverty Champion” calling on them oppose plans by Labour bosses in Bradford that will increase the amount of Council tax Bradford’s poorest families have to pay. In a District where 30% of children live in poverty they can’t be serious, can they? Across the District more than 28,000 families will be affected.
You can read Rachel's letter below:
Dear Cllr Bacon,
I am contacting you in your role as Bradford’s Poverty Champion.
You will be aware of the ongoing consultation in regards to the alterations to the Council Tax Reduction scheme due to end on the 1st December.
I have serious concerns about these proposals and their impact on residents of Bradford East, the most deprived Parliamentary Constituency in the District. I will be responding to this consultation but I would like to raise my concerns with you as the District’s Poverty Champion and to ask for your comment.
There is no escaping the fact that in some parts of Bradford East in excess of 40% of children live in poverty. We have some of the most deprived communities in the Country. The impacts of child poverty are well documented and I will not spend this time trying to convince you of the devastating and long lasting impacts of child poverty of which I am sure you are already aware. It is my concern that the proposed alterations of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme will see more children fall into poverty and those already living in those circumstances will be further squeezed.
Reducing the maximum amount that residents can claim effectively gives a 5% increase in Council Tax for those people who have the lowest incomes in the District. This in addition to any increase in Council Tax we may see in 18/19. This will directly affect the families of those children living in poverty. I wonder if you know how many more families we will be tipping into poverty should these proposals go forward unamended?
Similarly the introduction of a £4.00 minimum award could take more than £200 directly out of the pockets of some residents in Bradford East. I can only see that these proposals would work against the interventions currently being made by the Voluntary and Community Sector.
In terms of the removal of the 100% reduction for carers, this will directly affect more than 10,000 households in Bradford East.
I would urge you if you have not done so as Poverty Champion to strongly oppose these changes. They will have a direct impact on the families living in poverty in Bradford East.
I would like to meet with you at your convenience to learn more about the role of a Poverty Champion, what are your aims and objectives and how Councillors in Bradford East can contribute.
Cllr Rachel Sunderland
Chair, Bradford East Area Committee
Bolton & Undercliffe Ward
You can find out more information on the consultation here.
You have until the 1st December to have you say, please make sure you do.