Council budget faces final vote

Cllr Sue Oliver
Cllr Sue Oliver

Bedford Borough Council’s tax-freezing draft budget has been approved by the Executive Committee.

The proposed budget for 2015/16, which will keep council tax at the same level as the past five years, was approved at a council meeting on Wednesday, January 21.

It outlines how the council will make £9.1 million of savings, while protecting services and increasing investment.

The council has confirmed its Government grant has been cut by a third in two years but it can achieve its aims thanks to the borough’s business and housing growth and a “rigorous savings programme”.

Portfolio holder for children’s services Councillor Sue Oliver said: “In the face of unprecedented cuts imposed on local government, we’ve worked hard to ensure a balanced distribution of the budget, protecting frontline services and making improvements where possible.”

The proposed budget will ensure libraries, leisure centres and children’s centres remain open, while it pays a living wage to all direct employees.

It also outlines infrastructure investment, regeneration projects and investment in social care.

The final budget will be considered by Full Council at its meeting on Wednesday, February 4.