“Conservatives are kicking people when they are down”

23 Nov 2023
Woman looking concerned while reading a piece of paper

Conservatives on Bedford Borough Council have revealed plans to be agreed at this week’s Cabinet meeting that will hit local residents in the pocket during this cost of living crisis. The general increase on Council fees and charges will be 7.5%, whilst current inflation is only 4.6%.

Some examples include:

  • Charge for Day Centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities (including transport) £82.60 to £92.95 (12.5% increase)
  • Friday/Saturday Wedding/Civil Partnership £578.80 to £622.00 (7.5% increase)
  • Library Fines for children’s books (per day) 8p to 10p (25% increase)
  • Blocked Drain (per 30 mins) £51.66 to £55.50 (7.5% increase)
  • Bulky Waste Collection £37.55 to £40.35 (7.5% increase)
  • Adult Cremation (including environment surcharge) £943.80 to £1,044.25 (10.6% increase)

To make matters worse they are proposing to remove the safety net of the Local Welfare Provision, where residents can turn to when they are in times of financial crisis.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Henry Vann said “The Conservatives are kicking people when they are down. Choosing to raise council fees and charges by far more than inflation will hit residents in their pockets whenever they need to call on a council service. This is in such stark contrast to last year when we froze fees and charges to protect residents during this cost of living crisis. We chose to put residents first unlike the new Conservative administration.”

“They are also wielding a second blow by axing the crisis service that residents can turn to at times of financial distress. When so many residents are struggling, this is a horrific move from the Conservatives – targeting cuts at those in most desperate need. It isn’t surprising though as it follows hot on the heels on them evicting rough sleepers back onto the streets of Bedford.”

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