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Comprehensive Spending Review

Thursday 21st October 2010

 

The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, has pledged to fight for frontline services for local residents following the steep reduction in government funding announced today.

 

Bedford Borough Council has already made £2.5million of savings as a result of in year cuts in funding from the Government. Meanwhile, the council has been working hard to identify proposals to save more than £10 million for next year's budget by transforming the way the council operates.

 

Funding to provide council services comes from Central Government, income generation and local council tax. The announcement from the government looks set to cut the funding given to councils across the country by 28% over the next four years. The council is introducing many initiatives to save money, and is particularly looking to make savings on back office costs wherever possible. However, the scale of the challenge means that other tough decisions to bridge the funding gap will have to be considered

 

Bedford Borough Mayor, Dave Hodgson, said:

 

“I want residents to know that I will be ruthless in cutting out waste and fighting to protect frontline services. But there is no doubt that dealing with these funding cuts will be a significant task 

 

With local people under their own financial pressures, we have been working hard to deliver a freeze on council tax and prioritise frontline services. We’ve already found over £2.5million of savings following in year government cuts. In addition, we were one of the first authorities in the country to launch a public consultation on proposals for next year's budget. As well as improving the way we work these plans could save us more than £10million so that we can deliver a budget that protects services and enables us to meet our aim of freezing council tax for local residents.

 

“My priorities are to cut costs within the council infrastructure, squeeze out greater efficiency, and deliver services in new ways that will make the money go further.”

 

Cllr Michael Headley, Finance Portfolio Holder added:

 

“Ever since last year’s budget was agreed we have been looking at ways to transform and protect the services that the council provides and deliver a budget for 2011/12 that freezes council tax. Following this announcement we remain committed to this aim .We have to balance the budget and it will take some imaginative and robust decisions to achieve this with this scale of reduction in funding from the government.”

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