CBC Executive Recommends Increasing Its Demand For Council Tax

  • Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive is recommending a budget for 2021/22 which will meet the growing demand for services to protect the most vulnerable.

In the recent Budget 2021 consultation, residents were asked for feedback on proposals: 
— 3% increase in the Adult Social Care Precept, and 
—  proposed 1.95% increase in its share of the general council tax 

Consultation results

Overall the majority of respondents did not support the proposed rise in council tax. 56% (843) of respondents did not support the proposal to increase the Adult Social Care Precept by 3%, with 35% (533) supportive.

56% (847) of respondents did not support the proposal to increase council tax by 1.95%, with 31% (533) supportive. 

In response to the invitation to make a further comment about the council tax proposals, some 755 respondents (50%) chose to do so.
Comments revolved around four main topics:
• The financial impact of the pandemic on residents (298 comments)
• Council tax is too high and not value for money (275 comments)
• Be more efficient rather than increase council tax(184 comments)
• Supportive of proposed increase (91 comments)

After carefully considering the feedback from the budget consultation, the CBC Executive agreed to recommend investing £128million next year on a range of building and infrastructure initiatives such as road maintenance, schools, health and leisure facilities.

Alongside this significant investment, the council is continuing to fund everyday services such as recycling and waste collection, public transport, leisure, libraries as well as vital services to protect and support vulnerable children and adults.

In particular, the demand for services to support vulnerable adults and children is growing, placing increasing pressure on the council budgets.

To help with this budget challenge the council is continuing its focus on efficiency with proposals for a further £10.7million of efficiencies next year. This builds on the £163million the council has already saved through efficiency measures since it was created in 2009.

However, the demand for council services is such that the Council’s Executive also recommended increasing council tax.

The CBC Executive recommends a 3 per cent increase in the Adult Social Care precept charged to residents through their council tax, will help to offset this pressure and enable the council to continue providing quality care for the elderly and other disabled or vulnerable adults.

The further 1.95 per cent increase in CBC's share of council tax will enable the council to provide more support for vulnerable children. Over £2m of this additional funding will go towards improving services for children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) and providing children who cannot stay with their families secure and safe foster homes. 

Cllr David Shelvey, Executive Member for Corporate Resources said: “I fully appreciate that this past year has been particularly hard for some households. It’s never easy making the decision to increase council tax, but with increasing demand on our services we need to increase the contribution that our residents make to ensure some of our most critical services can continue.

“The extra council tax and Adult Social Care Precept help us to provide vital care and support to the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Having heard from residents in the consultation about the impact of the pandemic, it is clear we also a need for us to focus on economic recovery to support job creation. This will help our communities to recover from the financial effects of the pandemic.

“We are also increasing the funding for our Council Tax Support Scheme; this is a comprehensive scheme where residents who may struggle to pay their council tax can apply for a reduction.”

The budget also recognises the vital contribution that the voluntary sector has played in supporting communities through the pandemic and includes £70,000 of extra funding each year for these organisations.

What does this mean for me?

If you pay Council Tax, depending on the value of your property, it is proposed that your Council Tax charges would increase from April this year.

So, as an example, somebody living in a Band D property (which is the mid-point value on the range of council tax values) would pay:

  • a weekly CBC Council Tax increase of 58 pence for social care
  • a weekly CBC Council Tax increase of 90 pence for other services
  • plus additional increases for Houghton Regis Town Council, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority, and Bedfordshire Police 

Did you know?
It was 1st April 1991 when all homes were given a council tax valuation band by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The band is based on the value of your home on 1 April 1991. A different amount of council tax is charged on each band. Each local authority keeps a list of all the domestic property in its area, together with its valuation band. Property valuations are now 30 years out of date.

The final budget will be considered at the Council meeting on 25 February 2021.