The budget challenge
With reducing funding against increasing demand for some services and increasing costs of providing services we need to cover the gap. To do this we need to raise more money from council tax and continue to look for better ways to deliver our services which save money, or reduce our spending.
How we are funded
Much of the funding for our revenue budget (£143million) which is the budget we use to provide day-to-day services, comes from Central Bedfordshire residents through Council Tax. The council also receives grant funding from Central Government but this is reducing, next year (£10.6million) we will receive less than half the amount of grant that it was allocated last year and this is down from £49million in 2009.
By 2019/20 this grant funding will disappear altogether.
Until last year, local councils were given additional money if they did not raise Council Tax. Now there is an expectation that Council Tax will be increased to help cover the rising costs of delivering services. And a new Adult Social Care levy (known as a precept) has been introduced by the government which requires local people to pay towards the increasing costs of care for our older or vulnerable residents.
This infographic shows how funding for council services is changing.
How we spend the money
In the next financial year (from April 2017 to March 2018) Central Bedfordshire Council is planning to spend around £189million on public services across our area.
These include the high profile services that are available for everyone, such as recycling and refuse collection, maintenance of roads and pavements, libraries and leisure.
We will also be investing in specialist and equally vital services which protect vulnerable adults and children, care for those with special needs and offer help for people to live independently for as long as possible.
This infographic shows how we planned to spend this money on services in 2016/17 to give you an idea of how the money is spent across services and running the council. Over a third of our budget in 2016/17 was going to Adult Social Care services, next year it will be nearer to 40%. This coupled with services for children covers half of our budget. The rest goes on running the council and all of the other services we provide including bin collections, libraries and planning services etc.