We are ready to switch off our old website

In April we switched on our new website and in mid-September we will switch off our old website.

Since January we have moved over 2,000 pages from the old website to the new website. Before we started, we carried out a content audit to make sure that nothing important has been missed.

We are happy that all critical content has now been moved, so it is time to say goodbye to the old website.

What does this mean for you?

If you are already using our new website then you do not need to do anything different.

If you are still using our old website, then why not try the new one?

This is what the old website looks like:

Old website screenshot
Old Bradford Council website

And this is the new one:

New website screenshot
New Bradford Council website

If you are not sure which website you have been using, there is also a clue in the website address. If the address begins with legacy.bradford.gov.uk or www.bradford.gov.uk/bmdc
then you are still on our old website.

Linking to http://www.bradford.gov.uk

If you use links to the old website, after mid-September the links may not work. You will need to start using new links. The easiest way to find the correct new link for a page is to use the website search on our new website.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on our new website, please use the ‘Rate this page’ form which you will find on almost every page of our website. Continue reading We are ready to switch off our old website

Enterprising Bradford

Did you know that Bradford has a £9.2 billion economy, the eighth largest in England?

As the district’s top business leaders and companies were recognised at the Bradford Means Business awards in June, and in July Bradford was named one of the top 10 places to work in the UK, we thought we’d seize the moment and share some evidence to show that Bradford really is on the up. But how has this come about and what do the key statistics tell us?

Bradford plays a key role in the regional economy, with 46,000 people commuting between Leeds and Bradford each day. This is the largest flow between any two cities in the UK. Over 40 large companies are headquartered in the Bradford district, employing 370,000 people across the UK with a combined turnover of £30 billion – impressive numbers for sure.

Economic growth since 2008 has outstripped regional and national averages and we have seen a 70% increase in foreign investment in Bradford in the last year. The district’s Job Seekers claimant rate has reduced by a significant 22% in the last 12 months, which compares very favourably to the UK average drop of 7.1%.

What has driven this growth?

The £35 million City Centre Growth Zone has played a key role, offering unique financial incentives and benefits to businesses. The result has seen a real expansion in business activity and an increase in footfall rates across the city centre with 250 businesses creating over 465 new jobs in the city centre.  Coupled with the opening of the Broadway shopping centre which is projected to attract an additional 9 million shoppers a year, this positive outlook and growth has made the city centre a very attractive proposition to both businesses and visitors. Plans are underway for further large-scale mixed use schemes and Grade A office developments with negotiations taking place with private sector partners.

Forks Cafe, Bradford
Happy staff at the successful Forks Cafe!

We went to the heart of Bradford’s independent quarter to see the positive impact of Growth Zone funding on thriving business and social enterprise Forks Café. We spoke to Jon Royle, Chief Executive of the Bridge Project which owns Forks Café who explained, “Since we opened Forks Café we’ve had a fantastic reception from the public and local business community. We usually appear in the top 10 Bradford restaurants on Trip Advisor and we’ve provided dozens of our beneficiaries with structured work experience, many of whom have gone on to find full time jobs. Without the support of the Growth Zone none of this would have been possible. Thanks to the investment from Bradford Council we’ve opened a popular business that achieves important social outcomes.” Continue reading Enterprising Bradford

Pokémon GO Gyms in the Bradford District

Find free local Wi-Fi and Pokémon GO locations with the Bradford Council app

In the latest update to the Bradford Council mobile app, we have added all our public free Wi-Fi points and local Pokémon GO locations to the map.

You won’t need to download an updated version of the app from the App Store to see these new locations. You will just need to make sure the content of your app is up-to-date. If you are using the app over Wi-Fi, the content will regularly update automatically. If you are using your mobile data, you may need to update the content manually. Simply tap on the updates menu along the bottom of the app, and then tap the downward arrow next to each item to download the updates.

App update cotent
How to update content in the Bradford Council app

Once your app content is up-to-date, you will see new location categories for free public Wi-Fi, Pokémon GO Gyms and Pokémon GO PokéStops. Just tap on the Locations tile on the app homepage and you will see all the location categories.

Location categories on Bradford Council app

Find Bradford Council’s free public Wi-Fi points

Now you will be able to easily use our app to find our free Wi-Fi in the Bradford district. You can browse a list of our public Wi-Fi points, or view them all pinned on the map. If you enter a search term, both the list and the area map will be filtered to match your search.

So, now when you are out and about and don’t have access to mobile data, you can easily find our nearest free Wi-Fi point whether you are working or playing. Speaking of playing… Continue reading Find free local Wi-Fi and Pokémon GO locations with the Bradford Council app

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How to get Bradford Festival alerts on your phone

At Bradford Festival this weekend you can get notifications on your phone about activities and performances that are about to begin as well as other festival information.

Your phone (or tablet) will need:

  • The latest version of the Bradford Council app. It has been updated this week to version 5.4.6 on Android and version 7.3.11 on iOS.
  • Bluetooth turned on.
  • A data connection, either through your own 3G/4G or via the free City Park Wi-Fi.

If you have all those things, you’ll be able to get our festival notifications.

The first time you walk into City Park during the festival you will get a push notification asking you if you want to subscribe to festival alerts.

Bradford Council app alert for Bradford Festival
This alert from our app will let you subscribe to further notifications about Bradford Festival

If you open this notification and subscribe to further alerts, you will then get notifications at the relevant times for things that are about to start. Each message will give you an option to unsubscribe if you no longer want to get the notifications.

We are delighted to be working in partnership with the University of Bradford on this project. The expertise of their mobile technology staff has been brilliant.

To send these notifications just to people within a small area we are using iBeacons owned by the University. The beacons are small battery-powered transmitters in fixed locations which emit a Bluetooth signal. This signal is detected by our app and this creates each alert sent to your device.

We’re really keen to trial new technology to improve the way we communicate with people and to enhance people’s experience and enjoyment of events. That’s why we are also trying out Snapchat for the first time at this year’s Bradford Festival.

The use of these iBeacons is a pilot and we would really value your feedback if you subscribe to these notifications.  We would love to find out if they worked as you expected and if they added to your festival experience. Continue reading How to get Bradford Festival alerts on your phone

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Events remembering the Battle of the Somme

A number of events are planned in the Bradford District during the summer of 2016 to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. The battle was fought between 1 July and 18 November 1916.

At 7.30am on 1 July 1916, 2,000 young men from Bradford left their trenches and by the end of the first hour of the battle 1,770 of them had either been killed or injured.

On this page you will find information about some of the events that are happening this summer as well as links to further local resources about the Battle of the Somme and the First World War.

1 July: Bradford Pals commemoration

At 11am on 1 July, the Lord Mayor will lead a commemoration event at the Bradford Pals’ Memorial in the Memorial Garden behind the Bradford Cenotaph. This annual event remembers the sacrifices made by the Bradford Pals during the First World War.

22 June to 30 September: Garden within a Garden

Acclaimed Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi has painted two public artworks in Bradford inspired by the history of the million-strong British Indian army that fought in the First World War. You can see two different paintings for this Garden Within a Garden project in the temporary gardens of City Park and the Mughal Gardens outside Cartwright Hall.

2 July onwards: Somme 100 – Keighley’s Stories exhibition

An exhibition of Keighley’s stories will open at Keighley Local Studies Library on Saturday, 2 July and will run throughout the summer. The opening event on 2 July will include a talk by Andy Wade and a screening of the film The Battle of the Somme. Join the Facebook event for the day.

2 to 15 July: Exhibition at Shipley Library

More than 350 men from the Shipley area were killed, missing or wounded in the Battle of the Somme. These men will be remembered in an exhibition called Shipley and District Remembers the Battle of The Somme. The exhibition is at Shipley Library from 2 to 15 July.

The research for this exhibition was collated by Shipley in WW1 who will be available between 10am and 2pm in the library on Saturday, 2 July to share information about people who served. Join the Facebook event. Continue reading Events remembering the Battle of the Somme

whats on screenshot

Help us improve our What’s On guide

We are about to start working on a replacement for our events website. We have a list of improvements we want to make, but we would like to know if you have any suggestions to help it work better for you.

Have you used our online What’s On guide to find local events? Have you used it to submit your own local events to the guide? If so, we would like to know if you have a wish list of ways you think it could work better.

Some of the things that we already have on our list of improvements are:

  • Make it mobile friendly so it works as well on your phone as it does on your PC
  • Better filtering, so you can filter by more than one criteria
  • Improved sharing options to make it easier for you to share events with friends

If you want to have a look at our current What’s On website before giving us your ideas, you can find it at www.bradford.gov.uk/events.

There are several ways you can send us your suggested improvements for the What’s On guide. From this page you can send us a private message using the contact form below or leave a public comment at the bottom of the page. Alternatively you can tweet@bradfordmdc or contact us on Facebook with your ideas.

At fairtrade fortnight event at M and S Broadway 2

Bridging the gap between coursework and reality – Tosin’s work experience blog

From 16 to 22 May it’s Learning at Work Week. In this guest blog, Tosin Akomolafe, placement student in the Council’s HR department, tells us about what she learnt during her placement here, part of her Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Bradford. Over to Tosin…

My name is Oluwatosin Akomolafe. I go by the short version of my name – Tosin. I am a Nigerian lady who enjoys photography, discussing politics, travelling and learning new things. I moved to England last year for my Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Bradford.

First day in Bradford and the UK September 2015
Tosin on her first day in Bradford, September 2015

I recently finished a placement at the Human Resources (HR) Department of the Bradford Council and here is a brief overview of my experience. This placement has afforded me opportunities to learn beyond the classroom and fulfil my desire for a practical experience in the public sector.

One of the reasons I chose the University of Bradford for my Master’s degree was the learning approach and opportunity for placement, which is rare for a one-year master’s degree in other universities. The module is called professional practice.

Since my first semester at the University, I had been looking forward to the professional practice or placement. On being accepted for placement at the HR department of Bradford Council, I became anxious because my mind was raising all sorts of reasons why it may not work out. However, on talking with Elaine Mallinson, an apprentice officer, my anxiety was reduced. She was so helpful. She told me about what they do in the department, different units and how my time would involve learning from different teams, shadowing and attending meetings.

Continue reading Bridging the gap between coursework and reality – Tosin’s work experience blog

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2016 elections: where to vote and how to follow

There are elections on Thursday, 5 May. If you will be voting on the day you will have been sent a poll card before the election telling you where to vote.  If you need to check which polling station you should vote at, you can see all Bradford District polling stations on our website.

All polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.

This year there are Bradford District elections for seats on Bradford Council and also an election for the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Yorkshire area. When you go to your polling station, you will be given a separate ballot paper for each election.

Counting your votes and declaring results

The Bradford District election count will start at 9.30am on Friday, 6 May. We will publish results on our website as they are declared and we will tweet each result using the hashtag #bradfordvotes.

This year you can also watch live online as the Bradford District election results are declared on Friday morning.

The Police and Crime Commissioner count will start at 2pm on Friday, 6 May. The results of this election will be published on the Wakefield Council website.

Journey of your vote

Have you ever wondered what exactly happens to your vote after you have put it into the ballot box?

After the polling stations close sealed ballot boxes are taken to the count venues for verification. The Returning Officer and count staff in ward teams empty the ballot boxes for verification.

The verification process checks that the number of ballot papers in the ballot boxes tallies with the numbers of ballot papers issued.

Continue reading 2016 elections: where to vote and how to follow

New site 27 April 2016

Making our new website live

Today we have made our new website live at www.bradford.gov.uk.

We launched the beta version of our website on Monday, 29 February 2016. Since then almost 2,000 people have visited the website, and many of those visitors have sent us very useful feedback about the website’s design and information.

What information is on the new website?

We have moved our most used information and online forms onto our new website. This makes up almost 50% of the content that we know needs moving. We’ll be moving the rest in the coming months. While reviewing our content we have also taken the opportunity to work with Council departments to rewrite web pages in plain English.

The information that we haven’t moved yet is still available on our old website at http://legacy.bradford.gov.uk.

What to do if you can’t find what you’re looking for

If you haven’t found what you want on our new website, it is possible that we haven’t yet moved that content from our old website. Please try the website search. We’ve added a link to the bottom of the search results on our new website so that you can search our old site for the information.

Can't find what you want on our new website? Search our old site.
Can’t find what you want on our new website? Search our old site.

Will there be broken links?

The way our new website makes web page addresses (known as URLs) is different to the way our old website worked. Every page on our new website has a different URL to the corresponding page on the old site. This means that all existing links to, or between, pages on our old website have now changed. Continue reading Making our new website live

New site form 11 March 2016

Updates to our new website as of 11 March

We launched our beta website at the end of February and asked you to try it out and tell us what you think of it. It’s important that we get your views on the new site, so that we can make it work for you.

In our last blog post we explained how we are developing the new website. Over the next couple of months we will be moving more content to the new website, adding more functionality to it (such as new page templates), and making changes to the design. We plan to make changes to the website once a week, and we will put a summary of those changes here on our blog.

Changes made between 29 February and 11 March

We have added these sections of content

Births, marriages and deaths

  • Register a birth or a death
  • Get a copy certificate
  • Fees

We will add more of the births, marriages and deaths information in the coming months.

Benefits and Council Tax

All of our benefits and Council Tax information has been added.

Your Council

  • Elections
  • Council budgets and spending
  • How Bradford Council works
  • Your councillors
  • Meetings, reports and agendas

We have made these changes to the functionality

  1. BrowsealoudWe have added Browsealoud to the website. You can use this to read the website to you. There is a link to it in the footer of every page.
  2. We have added some online forms, for example the form to contact the Street Naming and Numbering Service.

We have made these changes to the design

Continue reading Updates to our new website as of 11 March