Beds residents face six per cent hike in council tax bills
PUBLISHED: 09:53 19 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:53 19 January 2018
You will have to pay a six per cent increase in your council tax if Central Bedfordshire Council approves its proposed budget for the year ahead.
The council is planning to increase its share of the council tax by three per cent and will introduce a new precept for Adult Social Care which will mean another three per cent hike.
This would result in a total weekly increase of £1.64 for families in an average household (Band D).
Councils have been given permission by the government to charge for adult social care for the first time this year.
The council says it must do this in order to reduce its spending by £13.8 million in line with government cuts. It will also be looking to introduce a wide series of cost-saving measures.
A council spokesperson said: “The costs of providing services are rising due to an increasing older population and more vulnerable families within our communities needing support. And at the same time, the amount of money coming in from the government to help fund services is reducing significantly.
“In 2018/19, the council will receive half the amount of government grant that it was allocated in the previous year and by 2019/20 this grant funding will disappear altogether.”
The council’s draft budget also outlines plans to spend £190 million on public services – well over half of which will be spent on adult social care and children services. The rest will fund services like roads and transport, refuse collections, libraries and leisure as well as the cost of running the council which amounts to £76 million.
Councillor Richard Wenham, the council’s deputy leader and executive member for corporate resources, said: “With councils getting less money from Westminster we need to raise more money through council tax in order to avoid dramatic cuts to our services.
To have your say on the council’s spending plans, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/budget2018, or pick up a paper copy of the consultation summary and questionnaire at council offices in Chicksands or one of the council’s libraries.
The closing date is 5pm Monday, 29 January, with councillors then considering all responses before the final budget is approved by Council at a meeting on February 22.