Council forecasts £21 million budget
Bedford Borough Council has unveiled a
new three-year budget forecast in the light of massive funding
reductions from central government.
The publication of the Medium Term
Financial Strategy follows the announcement of the final Local
Government Finance Settlement, which outlined a cut of 80 per cent
of the main government grant over the four years from 2015/16 to
2019/20. This has left Bedford Borough Council with a budget gap of
£21 million by 2019/20.
The report details how the council has
undertaken work to look at all areas of its budget to identify
efficiencies and new ways of delivering services. It sets out the
Council’s approach to make necessary savings, while protecting
those people in greatest need.
The Council has already achieved savings
of £87 million since 2010 via measures including reducing staff
numbers, cutting back office costs and introducing new ways of
Councillor Michael Headley, Portfolio
Holder for Finance, said: “Unfortunately, efficiency savings
alone won’t get us anywhere near meeting the £21 million budget gap
we have. It is going to be hard, and in some areas services will
have to radically change. These decisions are being forced upon us
by the onslaught of cuts in funding coming from central government.
We hope that by working together with the local community, we can
find new ways of providing and protecting services that are
important to residents in Bedford Borough. I want to be clear that
our priority is to protect frontline services for residents to the
greatest degree that is possible.”
For more information on council budgets
and spending, visit http://www.bedford.gov.uk/