Research by Bradford East MP, Imran Hussain, has today found that if the Government treated Bradford Council’s funding the same as the City of London Corporation, Bradford would be over £20 million a year better off.
The research by Mr Imran follows the latest Local Government Finance Settlement forced through by the Government last week, which provides Bradford Council £170.5 million in funding for the 2022/23 financial year. This is a 37% decrease on funding in 2015/16 when Bradford was provided with £270 million in funding when adjusted for inflation, proving once more that Bradford has been left out of the Government’s “Levelling Up” pledges.
However, in the same period, the Government has cut funding to the City of London Corporation, the inner-London Borough at the heart of the capital’s financial district, by a smaller rate of just 29%. According to Imran, applying this same, smaller cut to Bradford would see the District granted £20 million more in funding than has been provided.
Funding for Bradford Council has also continued to fall despite Boris Johnson’s promises to “level up” left behind regions across the country, with a fall of 5% in the Government’s funding for Bradford Council in the 2022/23 funding settlement compared to the 2019/20 funding settlement announced just before he assumed office as Prime Minister in the summer of 2019.
These greater cuts to Bradford compared to the City of London are also taking place despite the greater rate of deprivation in Bradford. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in Bradford, 18.9% of the population were income-deprived in 2019, making it the 27th most income-deprived local authority. This is compared to the City of London where 6.5% of the population were income-deprived, making it the 280th most income-deprived in the country out of 316.
Speaking on the research that shows Bradford Council would be £20 million a year better off, Imran said:
“These latest figures from the Government confirm once more that they have absolutely no interest in delivering on their promises of levelling up places like Bradford. Whilst pledging to revitalise left behind regions, the Government has continued to strip funding from the local councils that run vital services.
“If Bradford was treated the same as the City of London, we would have over £20 million more in funding to invest in local services and tackle local inequalities. Yet instead of levelling Bradford up as promised, the Government is insistent on presiding over managed decline and maintaining divisions between North and South, and between the richest and poorest.
“With these disproportionate funding cuts and the axing of the Bradford stop in Northern Powerhouse Rail, the Government’s empty levelling up pledges show all the signs of Boris Johnson’s trademark dishonesty as Prime Minister.”