Council Tax and Budget for 2017-2018

Reducing our spending in 2017-2018

In total we have saved more than £104million since Central Bedfordshire Council was created in 2009. We’ve done this by taking a range of actions such as cutting the pay of our staff, renegotiating our contracts and reducing the number of office buildings we work from.

But we have more to do. In 2017-2018 we need to reduce our spending by £15.2million.

So the council has to make some decisions about how it will balance its books.

The types of changes we are proposing are:

  • £7.9million from providing services more efficiently, without affecting customers' experience 
  • £2.7million from getting involved as soon as possible with children, families or adults who are vulnerable (because of ill health, disability or risk of abuse or neglect). By working with people early, we can help them to avoid needing more support in the long term, which saves money 
  • £2.1million by determining the council's offer, which means reducing the financial demands on the council in some service areas, by giving customers the option to make their own contribution to "top up" the service they receive 
  • £2million by generating income from trading services 
  • £0.4million by withdrawing some services where the need for them is not apparent.

Examples of providing services more efficiently include reducing the use of agency workers and reviewing all other recruitment of staff. We also intend to renegotiate contracts for some core services including facilities management and some of our waste and recycling services.

Examples of early intervention include the creation of locally based teams to enable families to access the right support at the right time.

Examples of determining the council's offer include introducing options for care packages that Adult Social Care service users and their families may choose to opt into and to pay for. Whilst the council will continue to ensure care needs are met, we are proposing that a range of home care services may be preferable and affordable to a service user and their family, rather than residential care. Another example of this approach relates to school transport services where parents of children, who are ineligible for free bus travel, are able to pay for this service where places are available.

Examples of income generation proposals include increasing fees for some of our optional services, such as music lessons, and providing support to schools on a traded basis.

Examples of services we propose to withdraw include removing School Crossing Patrols where there are zebra crossings.

You can read the detailed efficiency proposals (link opens in new window) as part of the budget papers for the Executive Committee meeting on 10 January 2017.

The full suite of budget papers (link opens in new window) are available online to read, they can be found under agenda items 8, 9 and 10 for the Executive Committee meeting.

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