Children Centres

Bradford Council has come under attack in Parliament for playing political games at the expense of children.

Shipley MP Philip Davies accused the Labour-run council of giving preferential treatment to Labour heartlands and cutting services in his Conservative area along with neighbouring Keighley.

Mr Davies said the Conservatives understood why spending cuts had to be made – in contrast to Labour politicians– but said “local councils should treat all parts of their local areas fairly.”

Addressing Keighley MP and Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins, Mr Davies said: “He will know that Bradford Council has drastically cut children’s centre provision in his Keighley constituency and in mine while protecting their Labour heartlands in the centre of Bradford even though they have got centres virtually around the corner from each other.

“What can you do to ensure all parts of local authorities get a fair crack of the whip and political games are not played by councils to punish more Conservative parts of their area?”

Mr Davies has repeatedly criticised the council for making choices which benefit the city centre area at the expense of residents further outside the district.

Mr Hopkins – who was setting out funding cuts to councils across England - agreed the two areas had suffered significantly worse than the city centre.

He added: “I do understand what he is talking about. All the Labour children’s centres have been protected and all the Conservative ones closed. The fact he has raised this in Parliament, the public have heard that and the public will make a judgement.”