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A Positive Lib Dem Budget For Bedford Borough

February 26, 2003 12:00 AM

Liberal Democrats will propose amendments to the Cabinet's Budget to ensure that it provides a better deal for local residents whilst staying within the Council Tax level proposed by the Mayor.

The cabinet considered Liberal Democrat objections to the budget at their last meeting, but refused to take account of any of them. These Lib Dem amendments will take up these concerns and reinstate the free 30 minute drain cleaning, free annual bulky household waste collection, continue the aspects town centre shuttle service and hold back increases in car park charges.

Michael Headley said:

"The Mayor and cabinet have delivered a totally unimaginative budget that just increases charges to local people. The extra costs of having an elected Mayor have not been off-set by any savings elsewhere. The Mayor's cabinet have refused to release any of the £37million reserves they have, instead choosing to take more money from local taxpayers. "

"With an intelligent look at Council finances our proposal will reduce the high Car Park charge increases, reverse the new charges the Mayor has introduced, and allow the Aspects Town Centre Shuttle to continue. This can all be done without altering the Mayor's Council Tax proposal."

"It will be a sad reflection on the Council if the Mayor and his supporters manage to push through their increased charges and service reductions when we have shown that a thorough look at the budget makes them unnecessary. It is difficult to see how the additional £100,000 we are being asked to find to cover the cost of an elected mayor is having any real benefit to local people."