Council Tax Referendum
Your Council Tax bill, which is sent to you by Bedford Borough
Council, is made up of charges from three organisations:
• Bedford Borough Council
• Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner
• Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority
If you live in an area with a parish council the Council Tax
charged by the parish council is also included in your bill. Your
bill shows how much you pay to each organisation and how much each
charge has increased compared to last year’s bill. The part of your
Council Tax charged by Bedford Borough Council has not
The Police and Crime Commissioner for
Bedfordshire increased the amount of the Council Tax for
Bedfordshire Police by 15.84% compared to last year. By law this
meant there must be a local referendum to decide whether any
increase of more than 1.99% should stay or whether there should be
a lower Council Tax increase for Bedfordshire Police.
The referendum was held on 7 May 2015 and the majority of those
voting were against the increase of 15.84%.
The Council will be issuing new 'substitute' Council Tax
bills based on the lower increase of 1.99% (by law this will be
shown as 2% on the Council Tax bills) during the week commencing 18
Please note that refunds will only be issued where more than the
whole amount due for 2015/16 has been paid. Where there is
still an outstanding amount to pay for 2015/16 the remaining
payment instalments will be reduced so that overall the lower
amount of the new bill is paid over the course of the year.
Further Information about the
What is a referendum?
A referendum is a vote like an
election but where you vote in favour of or against something.
Why did there need to be a
Council Tax referendum?
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire increased the
amount of Council Tax that you pay for the cost of policing in
Bedfordshire by 15.84% compared to last year. The law says that if
the increase is more than 1.99% there must be a public referendum
to see if you agree with the increase.
When was the
The referendum was held on 7 May 2015
the same day as the general, local and Mayoral elections.
When was the result
The result was announced on Monday 11 May
What did the referendum
The referendum asked you if you
wanted the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner to increase
Council Tax by 15.8%. You were able to vote yes or no.
Who could vote? Was it only
the person who pays the Council Tax?
Anyone who was registered to vote in local government elections
in Bedfordshire could vote in the referendum.
How was the result of the
The result was decided by the majority of the votes. If more
people voted to accept the increase your Council Tax bill would not
have change. Because more people voted against the increase a lower
increase of 1.99% will be made and you will receive a new bill for
a lower amount. The votes from Bedford Borough, Central
Bedfordshire and Luton were added together to give one
Why didn't you wait until
after the referendum before you increased the bill?
The law says that Bedford Borough Council had to send bills
based on the increase the Police and Crime Commissioner has asked
About your Council
Has Bedford Borough Council
increased my Council Tax?
No. Bedford Borough Council’s share of your Council Tax has not
gone up for 2015/16.
Why has my bill gone
Your bill includes charges made by the Police and Crime
Commissioner for Bedfordshire, the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue
Authority and, in some areas, a parish council. Increases made by
these organisations affect your bill. Your bill shows you how much
you pay to each organisation and how much each has gone up.
Will I get a refund now the
increase has been rejected?
To save money the Council will send new bills with lower
instalments for the rest of the year. However, you will have the
right to contact the Council and ask for a refund. If you have paid
your bill in full you will receive a refund automatically.
If I get Council Tax Support
will I pay less because of the lower increase?
Not necessarily. If you get Council Tax Support but still have
some Council Tax to pay, the amount you pay is based on your
income. Even though the overall Council Tax bill has gone down you
will still have to pay the same amount based on your income.
Who pays for the cost of the
referendum and for sending out new Council Tax bills?
The cost of holding the referendum and sending out new Council
Tax bills has to be paid for by Bedfordshire Police.
Where can I find out more
about the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner?
The Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner website at