Central Bedfordshire Council recommends new budget - but it will come at a cost to you and me

Council tax could rise to fund care services as part of the proposals

In a statement from the council, it said it is proposing a further £13.6million of efficiencies next year, which it claims builds on the £150million already saved through efficiency measures.

Money (stock image)

Money (stock image)

But, it added the efficiency measures aren’t enough, so the Executive is proposing to apply the Adult Social Care Precept of a 2 per cent increase in council tax specifically to fund care services and increase council tax by 1.95 per cent to contribute towards funding other services.

In recommending the budget, Cllr Richard Wenham, deputy leader and executive member for Corporate Resources, said: “We’re proud of our track record in not raising council tax for a number of years but the loss of central government funding for our services means we can’t continue to protect and invest in services without asking residents to help pay for them through council tax."

In the Budget 2020 consultation, residents were asked for feedback on proposals to investment, efficiency proposals for £13.6million and increasing council tax.

After considering the feedback, the Executive agreed to recommend investing £142million next year on a range of building and infrastructure initiatives including road maintenance, new school places, new care homes and new integrated health and care hubs.

Cllr Wenham added: “The consultation showed that most people were prepared to contribute more through their council tax to ensure frontline services continue and that we are also able to invest in services for the future too.”

The final budget will be considered at the Council meeting on February 20.