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Figures Show Bedford Borough Council Tax Cut is Biggest in the Country

March 11, 2011 4:23 PM

A survey has shown that the Council tax cut delivered in Bedford Borough by Mayor Dave Hodgson is the largest in England. The survey published yesterday by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) showed that of the 80% of Councils who responded to their survey, Bedford Borough Council's £8.91 cut for band D households is the largest by a significant margin, with only one other council reducing council tax by more than £5. The reduction has been achieved without the widespread cuts to services seen in other areas across the country, with no library closures or reductions in opening hours, weekly bin collections saved and all leisure facilities retained.

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "We have worked throughout the year to keep tax down and get full value from every penny, and I hope the confirmation that the cut in Council tax bills here will be greater than anywhere else across the country will come as good news for hard-pressed local households. We have focused our savings on the Council's internal workings, cutting out waste and inefficiency at Borough Hall rather than cutting services out in the community. Through this rigorous approach to achieving good value for every local taxpayer, we have avoided the widespread cuts to services seen elsewhere.'

"Protecting vital services such as libraries and weekly bin collections while achieving the £16 million of savings we required has been our aim throughout. The fact that it has resulted in the largest Council tax cut in England is simply a by-product of our approach of working to protect those services local residents rely on alongside good financial management and maximising efficiency savings."

The survey findings released by CIPFA show that the average band D household in England will pay 35 pence less council tax in 2011-12. Bedford Borough Council's £8.91 reduction equates to a 0.7% cut, with the Council one of just two 'upper tier' authorities nationwide to actually reduce council tax by more than a few pence. Upper tier authorities are counties, metropolitan districts, London boroughs and unitary authorities.