Councillors Paul Sullivan (Bingley Rural), Debbie Davies (Baildon), Kyle Green (Ilkley) and Jackie Whiteley (Wharfedale) have questioned whether the Labour-run Council’s decision to invest over £25m to create new office space in Bradford City centre particularly is necessary and value for money, particularly when peoples’ working habits have changed due to the pandemic.
Cllr Paul Sullivan said “It is incredible that Bradford Council continue to press ahead with this grandiose £25.8 million project to build new Grade A office space in the centre of Bradford despite the fact that many office spaces in Bradford remain unoccupied.
“For many Covid has brought a sea-change and some may continue working from home and never fully return to the daily commute and the office.”
Cllr Debbie Davies said “I do remain sceptical of the need to create office space in Bradford City Centre particularly given that many businesses seem to have adapted well to home working.”
District Councillor Kyle Green added: "This unnecessary project highlights the city-centric approach of investment in wasteful pet projects by Labour-led Bradford Council. In contrast to this, wards such as Ilkley and Burley in Wharfedale continue to be used as cash cows, with town and parish councils being asked to fund vital projects such as making schools drop offs and pickups safer through highways investment. This means that hard working residents in these areas are getting a bad deal from Bradford Council as they are being asked to fund wasteful spending while being unfairly asked to pay twice (through a local precept and council tax) for projects that should be paid for through their council tax to Bradford Council."
Councillor Jackie Whiteley, Conservative spokesperson for Planning and Highways added
‘I believe Bradford Council should think again about its investment in this project. How will this impact on Council taxes if there aren’t the businesses able and willing to move in? Has an assessment been made of the likely shortfall in Council tax revenue due to residents inability to pay? The decision to invest was made in pre Covid times. Surely a rethink would be prudent."