Council tax for Bedford borough set to rise by nearly 5% to help pay for social care

Council tax could rise by almost five per cent next year to help solve Bedford borough's growing social care crisis.

Thursday, 7th December 2017, 3:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:12 pm
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The number of people needing home care visits is soaring, as is the number of children subject to a Child Protection Plan.

Homelessness is also rising rapidly, with a 68-fold increase in numbers of nights in temporary accommodation over the past five years.

Meanwhile government funding received by the council is dropping, meaning £23.5m of savings must be found by 2021.

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Now the government has given the council permission to help fund care needs from the council tax budget.

But this social care precept would mean a rise of up to six per cent split over the next two years – on top of the proposed 1.99 per cent increase.

If the highest precept of three per cent each year is agreed, householders in a Band D property would be paying an extra £70.74 next year. This includes the 1.99 per cent rise.

A two per cent increase over two years would mean a total rise of £56.56, while one per cent would mean £32.39.

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The council is now asking residents for their views via its website at www.bedford.gov.uk