Central Bedfordshire’s Council has agreed its annual budget, which confirms a range of service investments, infrastructure projects and efficiency measures for the financial year ahead.
The budget also includes the application of an Adult Social Care Precept, which will see a 3% increase in Council Tax specifically to fund adult care services and an increase of 1.95% to contribute towards funding other pressures, for example in Children’s Services.
The increase in council tax is not a decision taken lightly but even with the £10.7million of efficiencies planned for next year we still have a large gap in funding that otherwise could have resulted in service cuts.
Adult Social Care is underfunded and with increasing demands on this service because we are living longer and with more complex needs, this means we have a budget gap of approximately £5millon. The 3% increase in the Adult Social Care Precept helps to bridge this gap.
The 1.95% increase in council tax will offset pressures in other services, for example vulnerable children. This will allow for substantial investment in services for children with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) and children in care.
The council tax increases for a Central Bedfordshire resident living in a Band D property (which is the mid-point value on the range of council tax values) would be:
A weekly Council Tax increase of 90 pence for social care
A weekly Council Tax increase of 58 pence for other services
A total weekly increase of £1.48
The council is also investing in the future by committing £128million next year on a range of building and infrastructure initiatives including building new care homes in Leighton Buzzard and Flitwick, an Integrated Health and Care Hub in Dunstable, expanding and transforming schools like Sandy Secondary School and road maintenance and progressing the Arlesey relief road.
The Council also agreed to focus on economic recovery to support job creation to help residents recover from the financial effects of the pandemic.
Our Council Tax support scheme is available for residents who may struggle to pay their Council Tax.
Read more about the budget at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/budget2021