CBC Has Decided Your Council Tax 2021/22

  • 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.

Report by Alan Winter
The CBC budget for 2021/22 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 a general increase of 1.95% to contribute towards funding CBC's other pressures, for example in Children’s Services.

In recommending the budget proposals to the meeting of the full Council, the Executive Member for Corporate Resources, Cllr David Shelvey, explained, “The increase in council tax is not a decision we take 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.

“We must protect our services, particularly to the vulnerable. 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.”

A New Houghton Regis Leisure Centre?
During the debate, Houghton Regis CBC Councillor Susan Goodchild (Houghton Hall, LibDem) [0:42:16 in the video above] opposed the budget on the grounds that the amount of money allocated towards a new Leisure Centre in Houghton Regis was inadequate. Cllr Pat Hamill (Tithe Farm, Independent), proposed an amendment to the budget saying that he felt that Houghton Regis was often missing out and pointed to the area suffering deprivation. He felt that deprived areas struggled from lack of investment. He felt that dropping the new Leisure Centre for Houghton Regis was unacceptable.

Other speakers commented that the build-out of Houghton Regis had been much slower than at Leighton Linslade and that had few facilities provided along with it, and Cllr Dalgarno thought Houghton Regis would get a new Leisure Centre when the time was right. Cllr Hamill's amendment was lost.

Money for Parking Schemes in Tithe Farm, Houghton Regis?
Proposed by Cllr Hamill, but defeated by the majority. Go to 1:38:15 in the video to listen. Cllr Hamill's amendment was lost.

An Additional health hub? proposed by Cllr Mary Walsh (Independent, Toddington), Go to 1:59:00 in the video. Cllr Mary Walsh's proposal was lost. 

An Outside Family Gym for Parkside Houghton Regis?
Cllr Antonia Ryan (Parkside, Labour),  proposed an outside gym for adults in Parkside, Houghton Regis. (see Houghton Regis News Desk 22 February) Go to 2:24:00 in the video to listen. An argument put against this proposal was that schemes like this should be promoted through town and parish councils. Cllr Ryan's amendment was lost.

Windsor Drive Recreation Ground Building Project?
A sum of money is in the budget to progress to evolving a council housing scheme at Windsor Drive Recreation ground in Houghton Regis. Cllr Goodchild opposed the Housing Revenue Account Budget because of this. She said it was the wrong proposal in the wrong place. The site was included in the call for sites in 2017 and was discounted from further assessment [3:19:30 in the video above]. From the CBC website:


Council Precept
Central Bedfordshire's own precept requirement (excluding parish precepts) is calculated as  £174,676,363. The elements that make up the Council Tax for 2021/22 are listed below.

Central Bedfordshire Council is 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.

Central Bedfordshire Council also agreed to focus on economic recovery to support job creation to help residents recover from the financial effects of the pandemic.

All Precepts

Taking all precepts into account, for a Band D property, Ampthill, the highest taxed, will pay £2,178.46, Houghton Regis, the next highest taxed, will pay £2,148.97, Dunstable will pay  £2,148.63.  Some parishes don't offer any services, so have a £0 parish precept, so, for example, Battlesden Band D a total of £1,966.61 . Breakdown below (click to enlarge).


Parish Precepts

(Click to enlarge)