Bedford boroughfaces some tough budget decisions

Bedford Borough Council is consulting with the public about how it can save £21m from its budget over the next five years.

Thursday, 10th January 2019, 3:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 3:34 pm
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Despite already achieving savings of £99 million, the council faces further cutbacks and admits there is “ongoing pressure” on a number of services.

The level of council tax rise – if any – will not be revealed until next month.

“Central government cuts and a rise in demand for some of our services means we face difficult times and some very tough decisions,” said a council spokesman.

One of the worst affected areas is Adult Social Care, where there are growing pressures from an ageing population with increasingly complex needs.

Despite its financial pressures, the council is planning to commit an extra £11m to social care needs, including early intervention, preventative and reablement services.

In 2016 the Council agreed an ‘Efficiency Plan’ which identified three key areas to make savings.

Its new ‘digital operating model’ was expected to save £10.3 million by offering more of its services online.

Savings on council service areas were expected to total £9.6 million, while more prudent buying of goods and services and renegotiating contracts were predicted to save £4 million.

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