Further Pressure on Council Services as Government Cuts
Bedford Borough Council is set to
consider further planned savings as it faces continued cuts in
funding and increased demand on its services.
Despite already achieving savings of £90
million the Council needs to identify further savings of £27.5
million to provide services to the residents of Bedford Borough.
This follows cuts in the amount of funding that the Council will
receive to provide services, at a time of increasing need for
services, particularly social care.
The Council’s Revenue Support Grant from the
government, which stood at £30m in 2015, is forecast to hit
£6million in 2019
Bedford Borough Council’s Executive has
approved plans to help bridge the gap in funding as well as
continuing to work on a number of savings initiatives.
Key initiatives include the Council’s Digital
Transformation Plan which is already well underway. The
digitalisation of Council services and the new online systems seek
to make savings of £10 million while also providing services more
focused on residents needs with more services available online
The Council is also looking at further
savings in the way it buys in services.
Reviews of key areas are continuing across
the Council. The Council’s Executive approved two major programmes
at this week’s meeting, namely the Library Strategy 2017-2022,
which looks at the ways the library service will be delivered for
the next 5 years; and changes to the frequency of black bin
As well as this, the One Public Estate
programme is working to develop underused public sector land and
property that may be suitable to sell or rent, boosting local jobs,
growth and freeing up assets. The Council is receiving funding and
practical support from the Government Property Unit and the Local
Government Association, to remove bureaucratic red tape and unblock
barriers to improve and develop of publicly owned sites.
However, despite these cost saving measures,
cuts in government funding and increasing pressures on services are
creating a major challenge to Bedford Borough Council in balancing
the books for the coming years.
On top of increasing cuts from the
government, an ageing population means more people need help from
the Council in their later years.
Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave
‘Punishing Government cuts
have created a full-blown funding crisis for local services.
Tough decisions are now unavoidable, as the impact of relentless,
ongoing cuts combines with growing need for social care
“Residents can be assured that
we will do all we can to minimise the impact on local residents,
particularly those most in need of care and support.”