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November 17, 2011 11:04 AM
Cllr Michael Headley

Cllr Michael Headley, Portfolio Holder for Finance

The consultation to help Bedford Borough Council deliver £36millon of savings in the next four years closes on Monday 21st November at 5pm.

Bedford Borough Council, like all local authorities, is facing an unprecedented challenge to overcome a significant shortfall in funding while continuing to provide vital public services for local residents. The Modernisation Programme contains 206 proposals, across all Council directorates, and aims to deliver £36million of savings over the next four years, in the context of a net budget of £129million.

Over 2,000 people have responded to the consultation so far and the Council is encouraging anyone who has not yet responded to do so before the consultation closes on Monday evening.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: "We are required by law to deliver a balanced budget which means we need to find £36million of savings over the next four years. It is therefore vital that local residents speak to us and we can work together to make the savings in the fairest possible way.

"This open and genuine approach to a vital consultation is the same approach used last year when we worked together to find £16million of savings.

"I would urge anyone who has not yet responded and who wants to have their say to get in touch with us as quickly as possible and ensure your voice is heard."

Councillor Michael Headley, Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: "Throughout this process we have tried to focus our savings on back office costs and other aspects of the Council which will have the least possible impact on front line services.

"However, the unprecedented level of savings required means we cannot completely avoid some savings in service areas and that is why it is so important for local residents who have not yet done so to respond to our consultation before it closes."

All responses must be received by the Council by 5pm on Monday 21st November. Responses will then be considered by the Council Executive on 7th December before the final budget is discussed in February next year.

You can respond to the consultation in the following ways:

Online: www.bedford.gov.uk/budget2012

MK40 1ZD

By email: consultingbedford@bedford.gov.uk

By phone: 01234 228435

In person: At any Bedford Borough library or Town Hall and Borough Hall reception