Modernisation 2012: Local views sought
The public consultation to help Bedford Borough Council deliver
£36million of savings over the next four years is now underway.
At its meeting on the 14th September the Council’s Executive put
forward a range of proposals for local people to give their views
on before it makes a final decision about how to make the
The consultation ends on 21st November 2011
Bedford Borough Council, like all local authorities, is facing
an unprecedented challenge in overcoming the shortfall in funding
it receives while still maintaining vital services for local
residents. The Modernisation Programme includes 206 proposals to
help the Council find £36million of savings over the next four
years. It needs to do this in order to balance the amount of
funding it receives with the amount that is spent on providing
services. The Council’s net budget is £129 million.
Bedford Borough Council is one of the first local authorities in
the country to consult with local residents and ask for their views
on how we can tackle the funding gap. The same approach was used in
setting the budget for the current financial year and with the help
of local residents identified savings of £16million.
Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “We face an
unprecedented challenge in overcoming this vast funding gap, and we
are consulting early and openly on proposals to help us to do so.
We are required by law to deliver a balanced budget, and this will
require £36 million of savings over the next four years. We want
people to have their say in order that we can work together to make
the savings in the fairest possible way.
“By consulting on proposals for the coming four years we want to
provide certainty and stability across the period.
“Some of our proposals are to save a couple of thousand pounds
while others identify a couple of million pounds. Now, we are
asking local residents to look at these proposals and tell us what
Councillor Michael Headley, Portfolio Holder for Finance, added:
“Our first priority has been to identify savings from back office
costs and other aspects of the Council which will have minimal or
no impact on services.
“However, this funding gap is unprecedented and despite our
priority of protecting vital services, it is impossible to avoid
some savings in service areas.
“It is also worth pointing out that we are not looking at some
of the cuts identified by other authorities. We are not closing any
libraries and we are maintaining our mobile library service. We are
also continuing our subsidies for rural bus services as well as
extending much of the urban service to run until 11pm. Also, we are
not proposing to close any of our children’s centres.”
The public consultation now runs until 21st November 2011.
Responses will then be considered by the Council Executive on 7th
December, before the final budget is discussed in February next
You can respond to the consultation in the following ways:
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By phone: 01234 228435
In person: At any Bedford Borough library or
Town Hall and Borough Hall reception.