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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > November 2015 > Budget Consultation

Budget Consultation

Have Your Say!

 

Following Bedford Borough Council’s recent budget challenge, the local authority is asking for residents’ views on current savings proposals and innovative ideas about changes to services.

 

Since 2010, Bedford Borough Council has made savings of £81 million against annual budgets. However, current projections estimate that £25.6million further savings are needed by 2020 to ‘balance the books,’ partly due to Bedford Borough’s growing and ageing population.

 

Bedford Borough’s population is expected to grow by 10,000 people by 2021 and the 85+ age group is expected to grow by one third (32%) by 2021. These changes in demographics come at a time when the Government’s funding is being cut by another 25 to 40%.

 

As such, to meet the required savings set out by UK Government, Bedford Borough Council must make tough decisions on the services it provides to ensure budget targets are met whilst also delivering the best possible services.

 

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “Despite the Council having had to cut spending by £81million since 2010 the government is planning huge additional cuts which will reduce the Council’s ability to support its residents. The forecast is that the latest pressures and the Government cuts mean we need to find a further £25million of savings over the next 4 years.”

 

“We’re continuing to make savings in Borough Hall, not out in the community. This has included cutting back office costs, reducing staffing and changing the way we buy things. This approach has helped us to protect frontline services. But once these savings have been made there comes a point when tougher decisions have to be made. That’s why we are launching this consultation so residents can have their say on how best they wish us to meet this unprecedented challenge.”

 

Cllr Michael Headley, Finance Portfolio Holder added: “While areas such as health, schools and defence have had their budgets protected, local councils’ have faced cuts year after year. This has a severe impact on the way we are able to fund the services we provide to local residents.”

 

“The Government needs to realise that this approach will have an impact on lives of people in Bedford Borough. With further cuts predicted each year going forward it’s forcing a new basis on which local councils can operate and the services we are able to provide. I urge residents to take part in the consultation so Bedford Borough Council can take everyone’s view into account when planning for the future.”

 

How to find out more and have your say

 

Online:          Here

By post:         Consulting, Bedford, 6th Floor, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP

By email:       consultingbedford@bedford.gov.uk

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