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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > December 2016 > Budget Consultation

Budget Consultation

Budget Consultation 2017

Your Voice, Your Views

 

Bedford Borough Council is asking for residents’ views on current savings proposals following further cuts in the funding provided by Central government for local services.

 

Despite already achieving savings of £90 million the Council still needs to identify further savings of £27.5 million to continue to provide existing services to residents. The Council’s Revenue Support Grant from the government, which stood at £28m in 2015, is forecast to drop to just £6million in 2019.

 

In addition to these cuts December’s Local Government Finance Settlement provided even further challenges to the council’s finance when it cut funding by a further £700,000 over and above their original plans. Overall spending is expected to reduce by 3.3% from 2015/16 to 2016/17.

 

The government cuts come alongside increasing demand for Council services with the need to support for the most vulnerable especially severe. In the last four years there has been an eightfold increase in the number of nights of temporary accommodation the Council needs to provide for homeless families, with every day staff making over 800 home care visits. Although spending on Adult Social Care is projected to increase by 9.3% from 2015/16 to 2016/17 demand for services continues to rise due to an increased number of people receiving care.

 

In addition 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% that they are already able to implement. Bedford Borough Council does not believe this is an adequate long term solution that meets the needs of our growing older population but rather a ‘sticking plaster’ over a lack of on-going funding for social care.

 

On-going cuts to funding from central government and the surge in demand for services means that Bedford Borough Council must make tough decisions on the services and would like to hear the view of local residents on current savings plans.

 

Councillor Michael Headley, Finance Portfolio Holder added: ““The scale of the cuts in government funding combined with the increased need for services means that the Council faces a full-blown funding crisis. ‘

 

‘Before making decisions on the Council tax level and how to fund vital services for the elderly and vulnerable in our community, we want to know what local residents think.  I would encourage everyone to have their say as we face up to an unprecedented challenge in the funding of local services.’

 

The consultation is now open and will run until 13th January 2017.

 

How to find out more and have your say

 

Online:           www.bedford.gov.uk/budget2017

 

By post:          Consulting, Bedford
                        6th Floor, Borough Hall

                        Cauldwell Street

Bedford

                        MK42 9AP

By email:        consultingbedford@bedford.gov.uk

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