Central Bedfordshire Council agreed their overall spending and savings package in February 2011.
This will see a total of £180 million invested on local services including roads, libraries, support for schools, social care, planning and leisure services.
In line with the council’s commitment to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable people in Central Bedfordshire, an extra £2million will be invested in children’s services and social care for older people in response to increased demands.
Faced with having to make unprecedented spending cuts as part of the national effort to tackle the country’s debt, Councillors have been consulting with residents and local communities on proposals to further reduce spending by over £19 million for 2011/12.
Councillors voted for a two per cent cut in their allowances for 2011/12, mirroring proposals currently out for consultation with Central Bedfordshire employees and unions for a two per cent reduction in council workers’ pay from April.
‘Protect public facing services…’
These and other cost cutting measures will make up almost £13 million of ‘efficiency’ savings which have been made to protect public facing services.
In response to comments from many residents, funding for school crossing patrols will now be retained until July 2012 to give time for the council to explore alternative provision with community and other groups.
The council has started discussions with parish and town councils about the future delivery of services where funding is being cut. These are showing encouraging signs for developing new ways of working in the future.
In Sandy a range of interest groups are joining forces to look at ways of protecting the future of the community sports facility linked to the Upper School. In Leighton Linslade the Town Council is looking to take on the homework club facility that operates from Leighton Buzzard Library.
Central Bedfordshire Council has developed a balanced budget that not only protects vital services, but also ensures that householders in Central Bedfordshire will not see an increase in the council tax they pay for Central Bedfordshire Council services.