No increase in Council Tax for residents in April

Central Bedfordshire Council is consulting on its draft budget for 2023/24.

The Council’s Executive is recommending no increase in its part of the Council Tax* for the next financial year. We are all very aware of the financial pressures our residents are under as inflation and the cost of living continues to rise. Even though the Council’s running costs have also risen and demand for our adult social care and children’s services continues to increase, careful budget management over several years means we have been able to keep Council Tax at its current level.

We will not be cutting services or investment in projects such as roads, schools, leisure centres and care homes.  There will be increased spending in some areas including care for older people, adults with disabilities, support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and children who need our protection.  Green waste collection will remain free in Central Bedfordshire and we have no plans to move to three weekly household waste collection.

We pride ourselves on excellent financial management and planning which has provided protection against the impact of a huge increase in inflation.  We are always looking for ways to deliver our services more effectively and we will be using some of our reserves (savings) so we will not be raising our share of Council Tax next year.

Please have your say by 24 January 2023 at

Paper copies will be available in our libraries and you can request a paper copy by calling 0300 300 8000. 

* Your Council Tax bill includes Council Tax that pays for Police, Fire and your Town or Parish Council, these organisations set their own increases and if they raise their share of Council Tax your bill will increase.

Setting the council’s budget and investing in services for the future

January and February in the Council is budget setting time.

It’s never an easy task. Our services are mainly funded by Council Tax and business rates. We spend over £400million providing hundreds of different services, many of which everyone uses; road maintenance, household waste collection and recycling, maintaining parks and creating new walking and cycling routes in the countryside, running libraries and leisure centres.

We also provide very important services that only some people use such as child protection and adult social care. Approximately two-thirds of our budget (and therefore effectively a large part of your Council Tax) pays for these critical services which support some of our most vulnerable residents.

Demand for these services is increasing so next year we need to put more money into providing care for older people and adults with disabilities, providing additional support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and children who need our protection.

Focussing on efficiency

As demand for our services increases, we need to look for ways to make your money go further. Next year we plan to reduce our costs by over £9million.

These include:

  • getting involved as early as possible with children, families or adults who are vulnerable (because of ill health, disability or risk of abuse or neglect). By doing this, we can help them to avoid needing more support in the long term, which provides much better outcomes and saves money
  • modernising care services for older people and adults with learning disabilities, so we provide care as close to home as possible, as well as services that will promote independence and reduce reliance on social care
  • improving access to our online services, automating our processes and streamlining how we work to reduce our operating costs whilst still providing traditional means of access to the Council for those without internet
  • building on home-based working that has been necessary and successful during the pandemic, so we spend less on offices, printing and travel costs.

Unfortunately, that’s not enough to meet the pressures we face which means Council Tax will need to increase.

Council Tax

Realising this is a difficult time for many people we are keeping the increase to the minimum possible and propose to increase general Council Tax by 0.95% and a 1% increase specifically for adult social care.

Investing in services for the future

Aside from the services that your Council Tax helps to fund, we also have ambitious plans to invest in new schools, roads, care homes and leisure centres. These are funded through borrowing and grants.

We’re proposing to invest £240million next year on a range of projects including:

Schools – maintaining school buildings, completing the build of the new Houstone School in Houghton Regis, refurbishment of Sandy Secondary School and expanding other schools to accommodate more pupils.

Roads – the new M1-A6 link road and new Arlesey relief road, a new transport interchange at Flitwick train station and changes to the Clophill roundabout to improve congestion.

Leisure – new leisure centres at Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard as well as improvements to leisure provision at Sandy and Rights of Way.

Health – building the new Integrated Health and Care Hub in Dunstable and new care homes in Leighton Buzzard and Flitwick.

Tell us what you think

Before a decision on the budget is made, we want to hear from residents and businesses. You can give your feedback online at or pick up a leaflet in your local library and respond before 31 January.