‘Too early’ for Central Beds cuts details

THE full impact of government funding cuts to Central Bedfordshire Council is uncertain, after an announcement that �3.6m is to be slashed from its revenue spending power next year.

Monday saw council budgets across Comet country hit as cuts to the Revenue Support Grant were unveiled. However, Central Beds says it is “too early for a detailed response” on how it will affect residents.

A spokesman for the authority said: “It is too early to be able to give a detailed response on the implications of yesterday’s government announcement on its settlement for local government.

“We are currently working through what this means for Central Bedfordshire in financial terms.

“The settlement calculations are complex and we cannot make any announcements without careful consideration.”

When The Comet pressed for more information it was told: “The details of the settlement are currently being discussed and we would anticipate being able to say more in the near future.”

“However for the time being we do not have exact figures on the implications of the government’s announcement available and obviously we want to ensure they are completely accurate before making any further statements.”

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The announcement that 1.68 per cent will disappear from the budget comes less than a week after the council revealed its austerity proposals, which could see music service funding axed and youth services cut.

Central Beds has budgeted for cuts of �36m and leading councillors agreed to proposals for a further �8.3m cut to services next year on top of a �14.5m reduction announced in October.

When asked how Monday’s announcement will affect the region councillor Peter Vickers said. “I frankly don’t know what the impact will be.

“We have all been expecting the grant settlement to be less than in previous years,

I’m not trying to be evasive – I just think we have to wait for the figures.”

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