Budget 2023-2024

Setting our budget

Each winter, Central Bedfordshire Council refreshes its budget proposals and updates its four-year financial plan (called the Medium-Term Financial Plan) and we consult residents and businesses every New Year before agreeing the final budget in late February. 

Our 2023/24 budget includes:

  • plans to spend around £475 million on services
  • plans to spend £253 million on new facilities like schools, leisure centres and care homes
  • plans to increase efficiency, reducing costs by £9.5 million
  • no increase to our share of Council Tax 

When setting the budget for 2023/24 we faced a challenging financial climate caused by rising inflation and increasing demand for services. 

Inflation added an extra £16.6 million to the cost of running the Council over 2023/24, while demand for our adult social care and children’s services increases. We’re not alone in this – all other local authorities are grappling with the same challenges. Many councils are concerned as they face huge funding gaps and tough decisions to reduce discretionary services. 

We pride ourselves on good financial management and planning which has left us in a sound position. We had already budgeted for some increase in inflation, and we are improving our efficiency to reduce our running costs which gives us some ability to offset the pressures. We are also using some of our reserves (savings) so that we do not need to raise our share of Council Tax for 2023/24. Given the pressures on households with the rising cost of living this is particularly important.

Our budget means we can continue to provide the vital services you expect from us through these financially challenging times. We are working hard to support residents with the cost of living through a range of schemes and look after our most vulnerable children and adults.

We also continue to invest in new facilities such as new care homes, schools, roads and leisure centres that means our residents want to live here and businesses want to invest.

The full detail of the 2023/24 plans and budget are spelled out in a report to the Executive Committee of the Council. 

It’s quite a long and complicated document, so here are the summarised headlines, with a focus on the plans for 2023/24.