THE Tory Government is financially crippling local authorities, especially in the north of the country, whilst it redistributes funds to its electoral base in the southern shires.

The severity of the cuts is such that all parts of the community are now experiencing the worsening and loss of services. Bradford Council is having to manage the financial losses with deep cuts.

We accept that criticism can be used to deflect blame away from the Government and onto the local council, so we have to make our position crystal clear.

The cuts to Labour-run local authorities are both ideological and cruel.

Unfortunately, the implementation of these cuts continues to target the staff employed by Bradford Council which is an option for immediate savings.

One of these areas brought to the attention of the Trades Council by our members is that further drastic savings on street cleaning and refuse collection are to be implemented. This is despite the fact that the council has “clean and safe communities” as a high priority.

There has been a massive increase in fly-tipping since charges for collection of larger items were introduced.

We believe this will be further exacerbated by more budget reductions in refuse collection.

Whilst we believe fly-tipping should be vigorously prosecuted, as it is clearly anti-social behaviour, it is essential that it is removed immediately to prevent the neighbourhood being blighted by its presence.

Prior to the austerity cuts, mechanical street cleaning was undertaken seven days a week. Half of these staff were cut in the third year of the austerity programme. Now the town centre is only cleaned Monday-Friday and Saturday mornings resulting in it often being unsightly, especially at weekends.

The reduction in staff hours has impacted on the frequency of gully cleaning. This results in increased flooding especially when leaves block the drains.

For these reasons, Keighley Trades Council calls upon Bradford Council to reconsider further reductions in street cleaning and refuse collection.

These cuts are in a ‘review’ so we urge residents to contact the council to strengthen the case against the cuts.

Decades of workplace closures and under-investment has left the town battered and bruised. The bottom line though surely should be that the residents of Keighley need safe and clean neighbourhoods.

STEVE DAVISON President, Keighley Trades Union Council