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Budget 2017 Consultation

Despite already achieving savings of £90 million Bedford Borough Council needs to identify further savings of £27.5 million by 2020. Central government cuts and a rise in demand for some of our services means we face difficult times and some very tough decisions.

The following numbers give you some idea of the challenges we face and the additional demand on our services:
• In the last four years there has been an eightfold increase in the number of nights of temporary accommodation we need to provide for homeless families;
• Each day we make 815 home care visits;
• Since 2012, there has been a 70% increase in the number of children subject to Child Protection plans;
• Our overall spending is expected to reduce by 3.3% from 2015/16 to 2016/17, however spending on Adult Social Care is projected to increase by 9.3% or £4.3 million over the same period, due to the higher number of people receiving care but also the complexity of care packages.

 

The simple fact is that the reduction in funding from central government means we are no longer able to do everything we would like to. In 2015 the grant we received from central government was £30.1 million. This is falling to £5.8 million by 2019/20. It is falling by £6.8 million next year alone.

 

Recently the government reduced our funding for next year by an additional £700,000 over and above their original plans. At the same time, the government has said that in order to help fund the growing care needs, councils can levy a further 6% Council Tax increase over 2 or 3 years, on top of the up to 1.99% we can otherwise increase Council Tax by. We do not believe this is a proper solution to meet the needs of our growing older population but rather a ‘sticking plaster’ over a lack of ongoing funding for social care.

 

Before taking decisions around how the council will meet the care needs of local residents and the increase in Council Tax to fund it, we want to hear the views of Bedford Borough residents.


 

This consultation has now closed

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