Tax rise is part of the Council’s budget for 2021/22
Central Bedfordshire Council has agreed its annual budget. The Council said that this has confirmed a range of service investments, infrastructure projects and efficiency measures for the financial year ahead.
The budget also includes the application of an Adult Social Care Precept. This will increase in Council Tax by 3% and is to specifically fund adult care services. There is an additional increase of 1.95% to contribute towards funding other services.
The council tax increase for a Band D property (which is the mid-point value on the range of council tax values) will be £76.96 a year. This is before possible increases have been added from other public services (Bedfordshire Police, the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and local Town or Parish Councils).
The executive member for Corporate Resources, Cllr David Shelvey, said:
“The increase in council tax is not a decision we take lightly but even with the £10.7million of efficiencies planned for next year we still have a large gap in funding that otherwise could have resulted in service cuts.
“We must protect our services, particularly to the vulnerable. Adult Social Care is underfunded and with increasing demands on this service because we are living longer and with more complex needs, this means we have a budget gap of approximately £5million. The 3% increase in the Adult Social Care Precept helps to bridge this gap.
“The 1.95% increase in council tax will offset pressures in other services, for example vulnerable children. This will allow for substantial investment in services for children with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) and children in care.”
The council said it is also investing in the future by committing £128million next year on a range of building and infrastructure initiatives, such as building new care homes in Leighton Buzzard and Flitwick, and an Integrated Health and Care Hub in Dunstable.
The Council also agreed to focus on economic recovery to support job creation to help residents recover from the financial effects of the pandemic.
There is a Council Tax support scheme for residents who may struggle to pay their Council Tax.
More details on the budget will be issued to all Central Bedfordshire households, with information on Council Tax levels, during March.