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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > August 2011 > 'You Choose' and have your say

'You Choose' and have your say on Council spending

A new public consultation and budget tracker has been launched by Bedford Borough Council to ask residents how local taxpayers’ money should be spent in 2012/13 and beyond.

 

Bedford Borough Council is facing an incredibly challenging economic climate and must make £36 million of savings in the next four years, from an existing net budget of £129 million.

 

Once again Bedford Borough is one of the first local authorities in the country to open up its budget process to get the benefit of local views as it looks to identify the savings. For the first time, residents will be able to use an interactive ‘Budget Tracker’ this year.

 

This online tool gives local residents the opportunity to put together and submit a simplified Council budget. The tool allows residents to have their say on where the Council should look to increase revenues and where it should try to find savings.  The results from these submissions will then be used to help the difficult decisions that must be made.

 

The Council is launching its public consultation as early as possible to give local residents the best opportunity for their voice to be heard.

 

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “Last year, the views and ideas of local residents helped ensure that the required £16million of savings were made as fairly as possible.

 

“This year poses an even tougher financial challenge but I hope residents will again take part in this full and open consultation process as we consider the budget for the next four years.

 

“This year it is even easier to get involved as we have introduced an online Budget Tracker tool for local residents. It presents a broad view of the Council’s budget  to help residents to give their view on where they think their money should be spent and where savings should be made, as we work together to make the right decisions for our Borough.”

 

Councillor Michael Headley, Portfolio Holder for Finance, added: “Once again we are one of the first local authorities in the country to open a public consultation with local residents as part of setting next year’s budget.

 

“It was extremely challenging to achieve a balanced budget for this year. However, finding £36 million of savings over the next four years is likely to be an even bigger challenge and will require some difficult decisions to be made. It is therefore important that we are speaking to local residents as soon as possible so we can continue our aim of protecting front line services as much as possible in these tough times.”

 

The consultation closes at 5pm on Monday, 21st November 2011.


For more information and to have your say please visit

www.bedford.gov.uk/budget2012


https://youchoose.yougov.com/Bedfordbc

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