Central Bedfordshire residents can have their say on council spending plans for the next financial year
Central Bedfordshire Council’s(CBC) budget proposal is to increase council tax by 1% from next April. This would work out as an extra £15.08 a year for an average (Band D) household. The consolation asks if residents would agree to a 2% increase (£30.16 year – Band D).
Councillor Richard Wenham, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Corporate Resources, said:
“This isn’t what we (CBC) are planning for, but if residents supported this it would enable us to invest even more in local services.”
“Residents can also give their views on a range of measures to save money. In total these would deliver an extra £14.8 million which is on top of the £135 million we have already saved since 2009.”
Consultation started before draft budget has been accepted
The consultation started on 3 January 2018, which is before the CBC executive votes on whether to accept the council’s 2019/20 Draft Budget proposal.
Cllr Wenham said:
“We start our budget consultation as soon as we can after the papers are published to give residents as much time as possible to have their say.
“The consultation seeks to explain how council services are funded and the reason why we are proposing to increase council tax.
“No decisions are made at this stage and I would urge everyone to take part in the consultation, we are asking residents about some options around council tax which we will listen to before making a decision in February.”
The types of changes CBC is proposing are:
- £8.4million from providing services more efficiently, without affecting customers’ experience
- £3.3million by generating income from trading services
- £1.9million from getting involved as soon as possible with either children, families or adults who are vulnerable (because of ill health, disability or risk of abuse or neglect). By working with people early, we can help them to avoid needing more support in the long term, which saves money
- £1.1million by determining the council’s offer, which means for some services residents could opt to make their own contributions to “top up” the service they receive
To have your say
Residents can answer the consultation questions online or by picking up a paper copy of the questionnaire at CBC offices in Dunstable and Chicksands, or at a CBC library.
The closing date is 5pm, 29 January 2019.
Councillors then consider all responses before the final budget is approved by Council at a meeting on 21 February 2019.