Proposal to freeze our council tax once more

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Council tax will not be raised in Bedford Borough in 2015/16 under proposed budget plans.

However, the Police and Crime Commissioner is hoping to secure a 15.85 per cent increase in the amount people pay for policing through council tax, after a referendum.

Bedford Borough Council is proposing its fifth consecutive tax freeze in the 2015/16 draft budget, which will be considered by the Executive on Wednesday, January 21.

Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “These budget proposals are a result of our ongoing work to protect frontline services and keep council tax down for households.

“In the face of rising demands and a huge reduction in the council’s funding, there have been no closures of libraries, leisure centres or children’s centres, while weekly bin collections, a strong rural bus network and other services being lost elsewhere continue to be supported.

“We are also investing in our communities and in the borough’s future, with the extra money for pavement resurfacing and construction of the western bypass, for example.”

Meanwhile, Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins will need to hold a referendum to secure the agreement of the public to raise the police precept, collected via council tax.

Mr Martins said the increase would amount to 32p per week for a tax band A property, and 48p per week for tax band D but would raise £4.5million a year , to be invested in 100 new officers.

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