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About the Council

Bradford is the 5th largest Metropolitan District in the country with the Council serving a population of 547,000 and 16,600 businesses across 141 square miles – two thirds of which is rural.

The District includes the City of Bradford itself and the towns of Keighley, Shipley, Bingley and Ilkley each with their own distinct identities. Numerous large villages include world famous Haworth along with Addingham, Baildon, Burley, Cullingworth, Denholme, Oxenhope, Queensbury, Silsden and Steeton. The District is home to several town and parish councils.

Along with Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield Councils Bradford forms part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority whose £1.8bn devolution deal is England’s biggest to date.

Democracy and Decision Making

The Council has 90 elected members, three for each of its 30 wards. Councillors are elected in three of every four years. The Council is currently led by a Labour administration which holds 52 seats.

The Council operates an Executive model of decision making within a financial and policy framework set by the Full Council. The Executive is comprised of six elected members including the leader, each of whom has responsibility for a specific portfolio of services, functions and polices.

Some executive powers are delegated to five Area Committees – one for each of the District’s Parliamentary constituencies. Area Committees also play a role in engaging with local communities to ensure that their voices and interests are heard and in developing Ward and Locality Plans that link to the Council’s wider strategic plan and set out local priorities and objectives.

Four Overview and Scrutiny Committees monitor and scrutinise decision making and progress against priorities and undertake reviews into key areas of policy affecting Council services and the District’s communities.

The Council also has a number of other committees and panels covering matters such as licensing, planning and governance.

Council Workforce and Services

The Council has an established workforce of 8,406 excluding schools.

Services are delivered through four major Departments – Health and Well Being; Children’s Services: Place; and Corporate Resources with support from the Office of the Chief Executive.

The Council is currently in the process of setting its budget for 2023-24 it is proposed to include a net revenue budget of £453.159m and a capital programme of over £600m investments.

Council Priorities

Council priority outcomes are set out in the Council Plan 2022-25:

  • Better skills, more good jobs and a growing economy
  • Good Start, Great Schools
  • Better Health, Better Lives
  • Safe, Strong and Active Communities
  • Decent Homes
  • A Sustainable District
  • An Enabling Council

Recent and on-going developments include:

  • Preparation for City of Culture following our winning bid;
  • Making the case and preparing the way for a new city centre through station and re-development of the 126ha Southern Gateway Site;
  • City Centre regeneration – City Village, One City Park, Bradford Live, new market;
  • Delivery of Towns funds projects in Keighley and Shipley;
  • Established the first Clean Air Zone in the North and plans are in progress for one of the country’s biggest hydrogen plants.
  • Progress to establish a Children’s Trust to drive improvement in Children’s Social Care;
  • Developing locality plans and locality based approaches to prevention and early help
  • Establishing a Housing Revenue Account;
  • Successful £4.7m bid for a Health Determinants Research Collaboration with the aim of becoming a sector leader in the generation and use of research;

Partnership and collaboration
Council leaders recognise that no one is as good as everyone, so we work in close collaboration with partners across sectors, agencies and communities to maximise the impact of all of the district’s assets and resources on achieving and sustaining priority outcomes and building resilience.

The Health and Well Being Board is the lead partnership in the Bradford District and is set up as a committee of Bradford Council. It brings together leaders from across the district including the Council, the NHS, the Police, Fire and Rescue, social housing and the Voluntary and Community sector. The Board provides strategic direction to a wide range of organisations that organise health and wellbeing services and leads on the delivery of the District Plan which sets out our shared priorities.