�19m cuts agreed by council executive

CUTS totalling more than �19m were agreed by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive when they met yesterday (Tuesday).

Recommendations to axe mobile library services, cut funding to music services and reduce funding for residential and care services were all approved by the Executive, as the budget proposals for 2011-12 were finalised.

Other efficiencies backed by the Executive include increases in fees for a range of services to the tune of �260,000 this year, with further revenue also expected through a car parking and resident permit screen.

Council Tax will be frozen and funding for school crossing patrols is to be retained until July 2012, to give time for the council to explore alternative provision with community and other groups.

“We have a strong track record of cutting running costs, having saved �10m from our budget in the first year of our existence and a further �12m since April last year, said Cllr Tricia Turner, leader of Central Bedfordshire Council.

“This year’s very challenging budget process builds on that.

“Despite some opposition, public feedback has shown that many people understand the financial pressures we face. I strongly believe we can and will find new ways to deliver services differently in the future and have every confidence that our partners and communities in Central Bedfordshire will work alongside us to achieve this.”

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This year’s draft budget will be put forward to full council to be finalised on Thursday, February 24.