Have your say on Central Beds budget plans

Central Beds Council
Central Beds Council

Central Beds Council has unveiled its spending plans for 2015/16 by proposing their annual budget.

The plans outline how it proposes to invest more than £315 million in services for the public from April this year – and now it is asking residents to have their say on the draft budget.

The council is pledging not to increase its share of council tax for a fifth consecutive year while still protecting front-line services.

Biggleswade will receive investment as £2 million will be injected towards the wider development of Stratton Business Park, where the long-term development could create as many as 3,500 jobs.

There will also be an upgrade of the household waste and recycling centres in the town.

There are plans to spend £63 million on social care health and support services, to allow people to live independently in their own homes for longer rather than relying on residential care, while the council is also proposing to spend £44 million on children’s services, including education and protecting them from harm.

After they were highlighted as key areas of investment by residents, the council proposes to spend £34 million on community services such as roads and transport, refuse collections and leisure.

There is also a multi-million pound pledge for maintaining the current road network and investing in new schemes, with a further £309,000 earmarked for the A1 South ‘longabout’, and funding for work on the transport interchange and Stratton Street railway bridge.

Included in the draft budget are proposals for how the council plans to make £13.7 million of savings during the next financial year.

Councillor Maurice Jones said: “The services we provide are important to everyone and that is why we sought local views in shaping this draft budget, and I hope that even more people have their say on the resulting proposals as part of the forthcoming consultation.”

The public consultation on the draft revenue budget will run until Tuesday, February 3, and you can have your say by visiting www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/budget2015 or pick up a paper copy at libraries across Central Beds.