Cuts: ‘It’s a dark day for local services’, says Mayor

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Painful cuts to important services are now inevitable says Mayor Dave Hodgson following last week’s spending review.

Chancellor George Osborne announced five years of cuts to already stretched local council budgets.

Bedford Borough Mayor Mr Hodgson said: “We feared that we were heading towards a tipping point, beyond which painful cuts to important services would have to be made. Now we don’t just fear it, we know it.”

He said, despite this, the council will continue to fight tirelessly to save as many and as much of services as possible.

Based on warnings of major additional cuts from central government prior to the spending review, Bedford Borough Council has estimated a requirement for £25million of additional annual savings over the period to 2020, following on from the £81million of ongoing annual savings that have already been made since 2010.

While last week’s Autumn Statement - deemed a ‘dark day for local services’ by Mr Hodgson - confirmed that cuts to council funding overall will be huge, Bedford Borough Council’s specific allocation will not been known for several weeks.

Cutbacks to frontline services have already been drawn up by the council, which the public are currently being asked for their views on.

Proposals including axing council-run summer play schemes, closing public toilets, scrapping funding for reducing speed limits and investing in average speed cameras and withdrawing funding from the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership.

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