Tonight saw a full meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council, the focus of which was our budget for the coming year and general financial planning in the medium term.
This is no easy task; as a principal authority, Central Bedfordshire has many serious commitments and a multi-million pound budget required to meet them. Cllr Maurice Jones and various officers from the finance department have done a wonderful job in pulling together the wealth of relevant information and statistics and creating a workable budget. This was debated tonight and, whilst some members expressed regrets or concerns over certain specific issues, there was no attempt to introduce amendments or vote the budget down. With a strong majority, the budget was passed.
For the fourth year in succession, the CBC element of Council Tax in Central Bedfordshire has been frozen. The Police and Fire authorities have each increased their funding request by 1.99%; Town and Parish Councils vary across the authority area with some cuts, some freezes and some increases. As the CBC element is by far the largest element of the overall charge, freezing of this component will minimise the impact on household budgets for 2014/2015.