Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford City Council's £6.5m boost for children's services

Bradford generic view Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bradford City Council is planning to invest £6.5m in children's services across the city

An extra £6.5m is to be pumped into Bradford's children's services after the department was rated "inadequate" by inspectors.

An Ofsted report in October said children in need of protection in the city were "at risk of serious harm".

Part of the new funding agreed by the council on Thursday evening will be used to recruit 40 new social workers.

It comes amid cuts to other services, including museums, libraries and school nurses, and a 3% rise in council tax.

The planned one-off investment would see £1.2m made available for immediate improvements to children's services, with the remainder being ring-fenced for future use.

The authority needs to make £13.5m in savings for 2019-20, as central government cuts the amount it provides local councils. A further £19.9m in savings needed in 2020-21.

The council said the new batch of social workers would be "delivering front line social work for families, creating stability and reducing caseloads across [existing] teams".

Adrian Farley, the councillor responsible for children and families, said: "The additional funding is about making sure we can provide support for the most vulnerable in our society."

Children's services at Bradford council were judged inadequate by the Ofsted inspection.

The report stated services for children in the city had "rapidly deteriorated" since an inspection in April 2017.

Opposition Conservative leader John Pennington said it was "quite tragic we are in this situation".

"There have been too many things wrong over too long a period," he added.

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