Bedford Borough Council to discuss £26.4million funding gap

Are you worried which services will be affected?

Tomorrow (October 28), Bedford Borough Council executive is set to discuss the £26.4million funding gap it faces.

Due to the impact of coronavirus, the council has to manage the vast majority of this gap - £21.8million - in next year’s budget, which will be set in the coming months.

According to the council, the impact of Covid has affected services, with new ways of working, especially in delivering care for the vulnerable and elderly.

Bedford Borough Council (Google)

It is looking to maximise savings through more use of technology and streamlining council processes. This will build on the Transformation Programme which started in 2017.

It will also be looking to save money on how it delivers some services, as well as introducing new fees for services such as planning advice.

Cllr Michael Headley, portfolio holder for finance, said: “The financial impact of coronavirus is unlike anything we have faced before. We need to bridge a gap of £21.8million - or nearly one sixth of our net budget - by next year. Previously we have had to look to save this amount across four years.

“Councils across the country are being hit very hard in these circumstances. We have had a decade of making savings as our Government funding has reduced, and now with the challenge of coronavirus and the unknown potential impact of Brexit we are facing some very uncertain times.

“Through the Transformation Programme, the council is working in a more efficient way and we are constantly looking for ways to build on this. But this alone will not meet the financial challenge for us and we are looking at potential savings right across the council.”

The Transformation Programme report can be found here