Concerns as Mayor piles pressure on Bedford Residents with high tax hike
At Full Council on Wednesday 2nd February, the Conservatives submitted an alternative budget which would have saved residents over £2.002m by removing the entire 1.99% rise in Core Council Tax.
The Borough estimate they will raise an additional £3.88m in 21/22 financial year. The proposed Core Council Tax freeze would have been paid for by using half of that money topped up by £68,000 from the General Fund.
With inflation in December running at 4.8%, along with very high energy prices, Conservatives felt this year it would not be appropriate to put a 1.99% increase of Council Tax onto the residents of Bedford.
Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Graeme Coombes commented: “I was extremely disappointed that the Mayor, the Liberal Democrat and Labour Councillors voted against this proposal. This was a very prudent, properly financed proposal to amend the Mayor’s budget which would have saved Bedford Borough Residents over £2m.
Given the current financial pressures which have been well documented, the Conservatives wanted to give a little back to residents instead of the Mayor adding to their financial pressures.
This was very important given the Borough is estimating they will collect nearly £4m extra Council Tax from residents in this financial year and this was the chance for them to pay back hard-working taxpayers.