Video: As councils axe jobs, Bradford unveils its giant water feature. What do the locals think?

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JOB losses across Yorkshire are expected to be confirmed today as several local authorities set their budgets at council meetings late last night.

Around 600 job cuts are likely at Bradford Council with the local authority needing to make £29m savings. The council has just spent at least £24.4 million on the UK’s largest urban water feature in the city centre. Watch our video above to discover more.

Bradford City Park

Bradford City Park

In York, councillors were expected to defy calls from the Local Government Minister and vote to raise council tax by 2.9 per cent in 2012-13.

The Minister, Bob Neil, said the Labour-led council should accept a Government grant to freeze the tax for one year.

But James Alexander, York’s council leader, said a freeze would mean £2m of extra cuts at a time when it was already facing nearly £20m cuts in the next two years.

Doncaster’s mayor, Peter Davies, was forced to go away and consider six amendments to his annual budget, which were put forward by Labour councillors at a meeting yesterday.

The mayor presented plans to save £29.6m at a meeting of Doncaster’s full council, which met with broad agreement from all councillors, including the largest Labour group. But its leader, Coun Sandra Holland, introduced six amendments, to which the mayor is obliged to respond within five working days under the council’s constitution.

The package of changes, which include extra cash for member support officers, citizens’ advice bureaux and employment workers, will cost £610,000 if they are all accepted by Mr Davies.

Other amendments could see controversial proposals to hand over 12 of the borough’s libraries to volunteers partly reversed, with a member of council staff allocated to each, and two closed libraries reopened.

Coun Holland said she also wanted to reinstate membership of the Local Governnment Association, scrapped by Mayor Davies, and reduce an increase in day care fees for the elderly from 26.6 per cent to 10 per cent.

As part of his proposed cuts, the mayor wants to save £4.8m with changes to staff terms and conditions, but there is also uncertainty over this as the changes have not been accepted by unions.

Barnsley Council yesterday passed a budget which will see the authority cut almost £8m on top of the £20m the authority has saved this year.

Coun Alan Gardiner, the council’s finance spokesman, said he delivered his budget speech “with little pleasure”. Earlier this year leading councillors in Barnsley predicted 68 members of staff would lose their jobs in the next financial year, but Coun Gardiner said that number had now been reduced to 45.