Public consultation launched after Central Bedfordshire Council announces £43 million in cuts by 2018

Central Bedfordshire Council published its draft 2014/15 budget last week

Central Bedfordshire Council published its draft 2014/15 budget last week - Credit: Archant

A public consultation has been launched after a council announced its plans to make £43 million in cuts by 2018.

Central Bedfordshire Council published its draft 2014/15 budget last week, revealing planned reductions in spending of £6.8m on social care, health and housing, £2.6m on children’s services and £2.8m on community services.

Government funding for the council has been reduced by more than a quarter, meaning savings needed for 2014/15 stand at £17.4m, with a further £25.6m needed over the following three years.

The council also announced proposals to spend £186m over the next year, with 58 per cent of the overall budget earmarked for services for children and social care for the vulnerable due to an increase in demand.

Investments of more £91m are also proposed from the capital budget to provide more school places, better waste treatment facilities and improve the road network. The draft budget is based on freezing the council’s proportion of council tax for a fourth year running.

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Deputy leader of the council Maurice Jones said: “We have a proven track record of delivering savings, having delivered £60m of efficiencies since the council came into existence in 2009.

“We remain determined to deliver value for money, so we have carefully scrutinised our spending to look at where further efficiency savings can be made or income generated and have put together a budget that allows us to maintain essential services.

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“We also remain committed to listening to our residents and I hope that people will take time to look at our proposals and give us their views.”

The council’s spending plans are open for public consultation until Friday, January 31.

Further information and a budget survey are available online at

Paper copies of the consultation documents are also available at the council’s offices in Priory House, Chicksands, and Watling House in Dunstable.

The executive will use the feedback from the public consultation to finalise its budget proposals which will be considered by full council on February 20.

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