Keighley MP says £20 million homes funds could help save threatened centres

Keighley News: MP Kris Hopkins says New Homes Bonus cash should be used to save threatened day care and children’s centres MP Kris Hopkins says New Homes Bonus cash should be used to save threatened day care and children’s centres

Threatened adult and children’s centres in Keighley district must be high on Bradford Council’s priority list when it allocates nearly £20 million provided by the Government.

The message came from Keighley MP and housing minister Kris Hopkins shortly after he published details of how much cash the district council received as ‘reward’ for its contribution to building new homes.

“In Keighley, there are threats to adult day care centres, children’s centres and a raft of other services,” he said.

“Given that my constituents have more than played their part in enabling new housing projects to be progressed, I’d expect them to receive their rightful share of the rewards.”

But council leader Councillor David Green responded that the latest Government funding was a one-off payment, which did not address the huge shortfall in Government support for year-on-year council revenue spending.

“It’s either worryingly naive or extremely cynical for Kris to suggest otherwise,” he added.

Two day care centres in Keighley are currently earmarked for closure as part of massive council cuts. Holmewood in Fell Lane and the Oaks Resource Centre at Oakworth Road are both facing the axe.

Treetops in Haworth along with Daisy Chain in Silsden are among seven children’s centres across the district faced with having funding withdrawn.

The £19,866,652 for Bradford Council is part of more than £2 billion dished out to councils across the country by the Government, as part of its New Homes Bonus initiative.

Mr Hopkins added: “The bonus rewards local authorities for helping to deliver much-needed housing, and Bradford Council has received a significant level of grant funding for its own contribution.

“It is free to spend the money any way it wishes to benefit the local community – whether that’s supporting frontline services, providing new facilities or freezing council tax.”

Coun Green said: “The New Homes Bonus is not ongoing revenue for the council, and it is in revenue where we’re having to make cuts.

“To use a one-off payment to protect something for one year doesn’t resolve the problem facing the district during the next three or four years.”

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