Bedford Borough Council publishes Budget consultation

December 13, 2021 8:00 AM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Cllr Michael HeadleyBedford Borough Council is asking for your views on its Budget for 2022/23.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on the Council's finances and resources, alongside ongoing increased demand for services such as care for the vulnerable.

At the same time, the Council is facing an estimated funding gap of over £15million to 2025/26, with a need to save over £5million just in 2022/23.

To make these savings, the Council will be continuing the approach within its Transformation Programme; making use of new technology and improving how they operate; procuring goods and services more efficiently; and making savings within directorates which will consulted on as appropriate as proposals are developed.

This Budget also outlines areas of longer- term 'one-off' or 'capital' spend.

£700,000 is proposed to be invested in Tackling Climate Change including further installation of solar panels on Council buildings, the purchase of electric pool cars and the installation of vehicle charging infrastructure.

In addition, £1.5million is proposed to be invested in 'Enhancing Our Local Environment' from play area refurbishment, and protective measures for parks to a new pavement washing vehicle for our town centre.

Finally, as speeding is a common cause for concern and complaints locally, £760,000 is proposed to be invested in average speed cameras at up to nine new sites. While the Council invests the money to install these cameras, they do not see any of the money from the fines so further investment is needed to rollout these popular cameras locally.

Councillor Michael Headley, Portfolio Holder for Finance said, "We are continuing to face a difficult financial challenge, and we are always aiming to save money first and foremost in the way the council operates so that we can continue to protect frontline services. We have also identified several priority areas for investment that includes addressing climate change, improving our local environment, and tackling speeding to make local roads safer. We want to hear from you- what do you think about how we are developing the way we work, and our plans for investment into the future?"

You can find out more and have your say at https://www.bedford.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/have-your-say/consultations/budget-2022-consultation/.

You can respond via that website, or by emailing consultingbedford@bedford.gov.uk or writing to Consulting Bedford, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP. Hard copies are available in libraries and on request.

Comments should be received by 4 January 2022 and may be published.