Beds, Herts & Bucks

Central Bedfordshire Council plans further £8.3m cuts

A further £8.3m savings are being planned by Central Bedfordshire Council in addition to the £14.5m proposed cuts it had already announced.

The council said the reductions in central government grants were likely to be greater than anticipated.

It is not known how many jobs could be lost but there are likely to be changes to staff pay and conditions.

Adult social services, home care and sports development and play services are likely to be affected.

Household waste and recycling centres could close for two days a week.

The council is also being recommended to review its library service and to stop paying for a leisure centre at Sandy Upper School.

'Difficult proposals'

The proposals also include implementing savings more quickly in the cuts to the music service and the youth service that had already been announced.

In November the council announced £14.5m could be cut from next year's budget and that more than 100 jobs could go if its plans were approved.

The leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, Tricia Turner MBE, said: "Despite the budget challenges ahead we are absolutely determined not to increase Council Tax levels for our residents.

"While we will continue to be rigorous in driving out every penny of avoidable costs, the size of the savings we have to make requires us to put some difficult proposals on the table.

"This budget strategy is about using our resources to best effect and prioritising our spending."

The council said it would consult widely with the public over the proposals.

In early February 2011 a final budget will be presented to the council's executive before going on for consideration by full council at the end of the month.

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