Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases | Central Bedfordshire Council

Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Our budget proposals agreed for consultation

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Our Executive today (5 January 2021) considered its draft Medium-Term Financial Plan, which includes proposals for Council Tax in 2021 and 2022.

The budget for our activities and staff (known as the revenue budget), proposes investment of some £402 million on the full range of our services. These include services for people who are most in need of help, such as those who are disabled or in need of care or protection. These may be children and young people, as well as older or other vulnerable adults. The budget also funds services that are available to everyone, such as refuse and recycling, roads, leisure, libraries, parks and countryside services.

Alongside the revenue budget, our Executive considered its future capital programme, which covers investment of a further £128 million for schools, roads, health and leisure and other infrastructure projects.

Our funding comes from a range of sources, with Council Tax and business rates being particularly important for the revenue budget. Next year, we propose to increase Council Tax by 1.95% for our universal services and to support social care services, specifically with an additional ring-fenced charge of 3%.

Councillor Richard Wenham, our Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources explained:

The last year has been incredibly challenging, here and across the country. Whilst our brilliant key workers have kept vital services going, demands have been very high and are only likely to increase, not least because of the economic aftereffects of the pandemic.

Our budget proposals recognise the pressures we face in key areas such as public health, social care and children’s services (including services for children with special educational needs/disabilities). There is also a clear focus on economic recovery and supporting job creation.

We’ll be spending more in these areas, notwithstanding budget pressures, whilst also delivering a further £10.7 million of efficiency measures, through initiatives such as reducing spending on our offices, printing and travel costs by building on the home-based working that is operating during the pandemic.

We propose a budget which is sensible and realistic; driving down our operating costs so that we can focus on what is most important to our communities and for an average Council Tax increase of less than £1.50 per week.

Our consultation on the budget is now live and will remain open until 5pm on 27 January. Everyone is encouraged to have their say by completing our online survey. For those who would prefer to fill in a paper copy of the survey, please call us on 0300 300 8000.