Consultation

Have your say on the Proposed Financial Plan and Budget proposals for 2021-22

Purpose of the consultation

Have your say on Proposed Financial Plan and Budget proposals for 2021-22, and Council tax proposals now

We are updating our budget plan for 2021-22.

We are consulting on these proposals. The information on these pages will help you learn more.

The key documents you can look at include:

 

Background

The Proposed Financial Plan and Budget proposals for 2021-22 have been developed against a backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic and considerable national uncertainty, but invest in the Council’s priorities, and seek to support the district’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, to build a better future for everyone.

The proposals would invest £14.6 million in 2021-22 for priorities aligned to the Council Plan 2021-2025 and to mitigate the worst impacts of COVID-19 on people and on our district’s economy. Over £15.9 million in capital investments is also proposed over five years.

These budget proposals set out a plan for one year only, which refreshes the 2020-21 position, as the local government sector awaits news on funding from the Government into the longer term.

Thanks to careful financial management over recent years and given the need to support the district’s resilience, no material cuts to services are proposed and there will be no new Council staff redundancies as a result of these proposals.

What are the headline areas where money will be invested?

New proposed investments include:

  • £6.5 million to support Children’s Services to meet significantly increased demands
  • £2.4 million to raise educational attainment, to help children to catch up in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be available for the 2021-22 academic year and fall over two financial years – £1.2 million in 2021-22 and £1.2 million in 2022-23
  • £1 million to help improve skills and employability in response to increased unemployment, by supporting skills development through Bradford’s award-winning SkillsHouse
  • £258,000 additional support for culture, which is at the heart of the district’s economic growth strategy
  • £250,000 to sustain the Stronger Communities team if Government funding ends or is reduced
  • £0.5 million to improve commissioning of services for vulnerable adults
  • £1 million to meet demand and market price volatility pressures in Waste Services
  • £1.25 million for Workforce Development to ensure that the workforce to invest in talent to deliver high-quality services, attract and retain the best staff and reduce inequality.

The budget proposals also include funding to allow the deferral of savings agreed in previous budgets for a further year – £513,000 in Youth Services and £350,000 in Welfare Advice and Customer services.

Capital investments to fund our district’s infrastructure

The Capital Investment Plan shows what we propose to spend on ‘one-off’ and infrastructure items, such as housing, roads, Council land and buildings, sports centres, vehicles, and some equipment, which is expected to be used or provide a benefit for more than one year.

Proposed capital investments include:

  • Expanding Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision (£6 million over three years)
  • Providing equipment to enable people with disabilities to support their daily living (£3.3 million over four years)
  • The construction of a new 50-bed short-stay residential home on the site of Neville Grange in Saltaire (additional £2.4 million)
  • Provision of laptops to children (£2.2 million over the 2021-22 academic year which falls into 2 financial years)

Council tax proposals

The report proposes that Council Tax is increased by 1.99% in 2021-22 to build up the base budget, increase financial resilience, maintain priority investments and avoid significant cuts. This increase would result in an extra £28.41 annually per Band D property. Overall Council Tax would still remain low compared to other West Yorkshire councils and Bradford’s Band D Council Tax would be around 8% lower than the average for metropolitan authorities.

Following the Government’s spending review announcements on 25 November, an addendum to the budget proposals was shared at the Council’s Executive meeting on 1 December. This proposes a 3% Social Care precept for 2021-22. This would result in an extra £42.84 a year per Band D property per year.

Use of reserves

To maintain essential services during uncertain times, a funding gap for 2021-22 of £12 million will be closed by the use of Council reserves. This is not a decision the Council takes lightly but as a result of prudent financial management the Council has reserves to enable these decisions to be made in the short term, to help the district get through these extraordinary times. However, reserves can only be spent once, and this is not a sustainable way of funding essential Council services in the longer term.

Consultation and budget setting process

At its meeting on 1 December 2020 the Council’s Executive committee recommended its Proposed Financial Plan and Budget proposals for 2021-22 (PDF), including Council tax proposals, and its addendum shared on 1 December (PDF), for consultation.

You can read the Executive’s Proposed Financial Plan and Budget proposals for 2021-22 (PDF), the addendum to the report shared on 1 December (PDF) and the Council Leader’s summary of the proposals (PDF).

The budget proposals for 2021-22 will be subject to widespread public consultation, including on this website. More information about different ways to take part is on About the budget consultation and how to take part.

In February 2021 the Council will meet to decide its budget and spending plans for 2021-22.

Please tell us what you think about the Executive’s proposals for spending and local taxes. Tell us what matters most to you, give us your ideas about what could change, how we could increase income and what part you and others could play in meeting the challenges our district faces.

Easier read and audio versions of the proposals

An ‘easier read’ version of the proposals (PDF) is available to help you if you would find this useful.

There is also an audio version of the easier reader text. This audio lasts around 8 minutes. Follow this link to the audio version

Use the links below for more information about the proposals:

·         Leader's overview of the Proposed Financial Plan updated 2020-21

·         About the budget consultation and how to take part