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Ilkley tip to close as Bradford budget is approved

Bradford District Councillors have voted to approve what's been described as "the most devastating budget ever to be discussed" in Bradford City Hall.

The budget that was voted for Thursday evening (Thursday 7th March) will see Council Tax rise by 4.99 per cent; three tips to close, including Golden Butts Road in Ilkley and the introduction of charges for residential parking permits in Ilkley.

And it is just the start of a years long programme of cuts reported by Rombalds Radio.

During the Council’s annual budget meeting this evening, opposition Councillors blamed the Labour leadership for years of failure, particularly when it came to Children’s Services.

But Labour and some Councillors from other parties blamed Government for the financial situation. One compared the Government’s funding of local Councils to “a landlord who deliberately sets fire to their house after forcing the tenants to sell off the fire extinguishers.”

Last week the Government revealed it would grant “exceptional financial support” to Bradford and 18 other Councils. It will allow the Council to hold off bankruptcy by filling its budget gaps with £220m over two years – to be funded through a mix of borrowing and the sale of properties.

But financial stability will also require around £35m worth of cuts each year for the next five years.

It meant cuts first proposed earlier this year – including the closure of Golden Butts (Ilkley), Sugden End (Cross Roads) and Ford Hill (Queensbury) tips and the Ingleborough Hall children’s activity centre in North Yorkshire, as well as over 100 jobs remained on the chopping block, despite opposition from tens of thousands of residents.

At the meeting, Councillors were asked to vote on two options – the Labour budget or a Conservative amendment, that would keep all the tips, but shut every tip in the District for an extra day a week, as well as scrapping a planned new leisure centre in Squire Lane.

The Labour budget passed by 51 votes to 26, although there was surprise in the chamber when Keighley West Labour Councillor Julie Lintern voted against her own party’s budget.

Ilkley and Keighley MP Robbie Moore, who this week handed a petition to City Hall this with over 10,000 signatures to save both Ilkley and Cross Roads tips, said after meeting: "This budget slashes vital services across our area, unleashes new costs on hardworking people and takes a sledgehammer to Keighley and Ilkley’s history, widening the ever-increasing funding imbalance between our area and Bradford city centre.

"It is quite frankly astounding that instead of joining the united efforts of our community against these plans, Keighley's own Labour councillors instead sided with Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe and rubber-stamped these plans - even voting against an amendment from the Conservative Group which would have kept our tips open and saved Ingleborough Hall."

No dates are known yet for the changes and cuts that are planned.


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