Budget 2020 overview
It’s now ten years since Central Bedfordshire Council was created as a new authority. Over the past decade two of our driving ambitions have been providing value for money to local residents and investing in good quality services.
Over the past decade, we’ve saved some £150million through careful financial management and by thinking differently about how we work. Because of this, we’ve been able to keep our front-line services open, when many other councils have been closing theirs, and we’ve invested in improving them.
Next year, this investment will continue. We are planning new school buildings, care homes and integrated health and care hubs. You can hear more about some of these investments in services in the video below.
We will also be spending over £200million on the everyday services you expect from us such as recycling and waste collection, public transport, libraries and leisure centres, as well as protection and support for those who need it.
Currently, the majority of our budget is dedicated to care services for children and vulnerable adults. As the demand in these areas increases, we are constantly looking at ways to become more efficient and have plans for a further £13.6million of efficiencies next year. But in reality, measures to save on our running costs are simply not enough to cover the rising pressures for some of our services.
Because of this, we have applied a special charge for Adult Social Care (known as a precept) which results in a 2% increase in council tax dedicated to fund care services. And, to support the delivery of all our other services, it’s been necessary for us to apply an increase in council tax of 1.95%.
Taken together, these work out as a weekly increase of £1.14 for an average (Band D) household.
Nobody wants to see their bills increasing and we would prefer not to be putting our charges up either. Our challenge is getting the balance between these two things right – particularly as we face increased demands for services that, I’m sure we’d all agree, are vital in protecting and supporting some of our most vulnerable residents.
Our budget for the year ahead has been designed to offer you the best deal possible to maintain our core services whilst we invest in new developments. And you can rest assured, we will remain firmly focused on how we can continue to improve our efficiency and your value for money.
The full suite of budget papers are available online.