Bradford Council’s Executive is poised to delve into the details of forthcoming reviews on the city’s library service and sports facilities, aiming to outline the scope, process, timeline, and governance involved.

The reports, as part of the Council’s budget proposals for 2024/5, will shed light on the meticulous plan for a review of Bradford Libraries Service. The objective is to secure savings of £175,000 in the 2025/6 financial year. Simultaneously, the proposed scope, process, timeline, and governance for a review of Sports Facilities will be elucidated to achieve savings starting at £60,000 in 2024/25 and escalating to £1,250,000 in the 2025/6 financial year.

The libraries review is poised to scrutinize the overall costs of library services, primarily within council-run libraries. It will specifically assess facility operating costs, usage data, property and asset stock condition, and explore the potential for adopting alternative operating models.

Despite the current presence of 29 libraries across the district, the service is already operating at a reduced cost due to previous budget cuts. The impending review aims to address these financial challenges while maintaining the integrity of the services provided.

Concurrently, the review of sports and leisure facilities aims to identify avenues for reducing operating costs. Such substantial reductions may impact the number of assets the council manages. The review will focus on facility operating costs, usage data, income generation, property and asset stock condition, and explore the potential for alternative operating models. Additionally, deliberation on whether the Squire Lane project should proceed will be integral to the review.

An update on the progress of these critical reviews is scheduled to be presented to the Executive in March.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “Bradford Council is already running these services at a low cost, they have to be because of our low council tax base. But due to continued significant increases in Children’s and Adult Social Care demand and cost pressures, combined with ongoing national austerity we must make more savings. We are having to look at all the services we provide and make extremely difficult decisions. We value all these services and know residents do too.”