Council tax could rise by almost five per cent next year to help solve Bedford borough’s growing social care crisis.
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.
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.
The council is now asking residents for their views via its website at www.bedford.gov.uk