Full Council met to set its budget for 2023-24 on Thursday, 23 February 2023

The Council’s Executive published its initial budget proposals in December 2022 and consultation took place with the public via the Council’s website and other channels. Consultation also took place with partners, local businesses, parish and town councils, voluntary and community organisations and other interested parties. We also consulted with the Trade Unions and staff on the potential impact on staff.

The budget consultation ended on 25 January 2023. Thank you to everyone who gave feedback through this consultation.

The financial climate is extremely challenging. Like councils across the country, Bradford faces soaring inflation and mounting demand for services particularly in social care. Additional Government grants to help councils during the COVID-19 pandemic have ended, but the extra demand and loss of income resulting from the virus continues. This is all at a time when the cost of living crisis is putting our residents, businesses and voluntary and community organisations under huge stress.

Council finances were already under pressure as a result of austerity, rising demand and increasing costs. Since 2011, Bradford Council has had to deliver £310 million of budget reductions and raise Council Tax to balance the books.

The budget, agreed by councillors, focuses on protecting key frontline services and investment in the services to support our most vulnerable children and adults and sustaining the capacity to deliver our ambitions for growth. Significant investment of over £60m will meet rising demand for and make improvements in services for our most vulnerable children and adults. However, previously agreed savings must continue to be delivered and new savings achieved, Council tax must increase in line with the Government’s own assumptions and the Council will have to use an unprecedented level of reserves.  This situation cannot be sustained beyond the short-term.

Reserves of £48m will need to be used to balance the budget in 2023-24.

Council Tax will increase by 4.99% which includes an Adult Social Care precept increase of 2% this is equivalent to an increase of £51.36 per year for a property in Band A and £77.05 per year in Band D.  Overall, Council Tax would still remain very low compared to other West Yorkshire Councils and Metropolitan Councils. As Bradford’s Band D Council Tax is around 8% lower than the average for Metropolitan Authorities.

Minutes and papers from Council meetings are available from our Local Democracy website.