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Call for MP to back council request for extra funding

Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Keighley & Ilkley, John Grogan

Labour's candidate to be the next Keighley and Ilkley MP has called on the towns' current MP to 'put the blame game aside' and support Bradford Council's requests for extra funding and flexibility from central government.

John Grogan, who was the constituency's MP between 2017 and 2019, says the government 'has it in their power to bring Bradford back from the brink'.

Bradford Council will set its budget for 2024-25 next week (7th March), just a day after the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt makes his Budget Statement in the Commons.

The authority may need to borrow up to £450m over the next 6 years to avoid bankruptcy, in addition to cuts to services, prices increases for services and a 4.99 per cent Council Tax rise for residents.

Council officers have warned that without permission from government to borrow money and to sell land and property in order to fund services, it would have to issue a 'section 114 notice' - essentially declaring the council bankrupt.

Mr Grogan said: "It is now 5 minutes to midnight as regards the finances of Bradford Council. I respectively ask, at this late hour, the Shipley and Keighley Conservative MPs to back Bradford Council’s requests for extra funding from and flexibility from central government.

"It is time to put the blame game aside and think of the youth clubs, leisure centres and libraries that are at risk. There will be certainly be cuts in the coming year but their Government has it in their power to bring Bradford back from the brink.

"For my own part I have already urged Bradford’s Chief Executive to mothball the waste and recycling centres which are due for closure so that they can be reopened at a future date. I would also urge her to discuss with her counterparts at Leeds City Council whether Bradford residents could have access to the Otley Household Waste Recycling Centre at Ellar Ghyll and investigate whether any other facilities in neighbouring councils might also be used in this way."

Ilkley's Radio Station Rombalds Radio has contacted Robbie Moore MP and his office for a comment and this story will be update as and when it hears back from them.


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