Under Ideal Bradford leadership, the Town Council has voted to approve a highly progressive budget for the town for 2018-19. As part of a robust process running from November to January, Councillors proposed and discussed priority areas, and we were happy to see those proposals backed by all councillors at a Full Council meeting on January 11th.
The Town Council has agreed an increase of 65p per house per week (for an average Band D property) – that’s less than the cost of two pints of milk, or about half the cost of a takeaway coffee.
This will give us the capability to achieve real change for the town, improving our environment, developing youth services, protecting and improving green spaces and play areas, and promoting our local economy.
A priority for the next year will be to promote air quality improvements in the town, and to undertake other environmental measures. £30,000 has been earmarked for environmental and air quality measures, both as part of work with Wiltshire Council on addressing long-term issues of traffic and pedestrian safety, and to promote other measures in line with the our own and the Town Council’s commitment to the 2050 Carbon Neutral pledge.
In line with our Youth Strategy, we are committing £40,000 to develop Youth Services in the town, with additional funding coming from other sources, hopefully including the Bradford on Avon Area Board. We again welcome Lib Dem colleagues’ vocal support for this strategy.
We are also allowing £60,000 in preparation for the takeover of play areas and other green spaces in the town, as part of the probable transfer of assets and services from Wiltshire Council. This underlines our commitment to the future of the town, young people’s role in that, and to protecting the places and spaces that the community use.
We are investing in the democratic health of the town. Under Ideal‘s control, the Town Council have recently recruited a Communications Manager to improve its accessibility to the community. In the next year we will build on that with improvements to our website and technical capabilities, as well as regular community surgeries and more accessible meetings, meaning that residents will have greater access to information and be able to hold us to account more effectively. We have also put a small fund aside to investigate participatory budgeting, to help us to involve residents more directly in deciding how money is spent in key areas.
Finally, we will continue to invest in the local economy, with spending on town promotion, and a small ring-fenced fund to assist with tourism development. We will also continue to work closely with BOA Business and the larger employers in the town to ensure that our local economy is fit for the future and that they play the fullest possible part in our community.
Thank you for your continued support. We will provide further information in the coming weeks, and please also take a look at Town Council updates.