Back in December, while we all running around trying to spend money on things we didn’t need (guilty), Bedford Borough were wondering what the hell they were going to do about the Government announcement of a 29% cut in their main grant.
Bedford wasn’t the only council affected.Councils all over the country were, and still are, wrestling with the problem.
The announcement, on the last day of Parliament in 2015, saw Bedford Borough’s Core Government Funding, for 2016/17, cut from £30.1 million to £21.4 million. Mayor Dave Hodgson described the announcement as a ‘devastating blow for local services.’
Having already faced cuts of £81 million, since the Tory Austerity Policy began in 2010, Bedford Borough now have to deal with a further £8.7 million cut for the financial year 2016/17, at a time when demand for housing and services is on the increase.
Dave Hodgson did, however, announce the launch of a Self Build Register just before the Tories announced their Austerity Blitzkrieg on Bedford.
Self build offers another way, for those so minded, to build and own a home, with the opportunity to tailor the design to suit their needs. Such homes are usually cheaper, greener and include environmentally friendly innovations.
The Bedford Borough Register invites those interested, individuals or groups, to register without making a hard or firm commitment . This is an opportunity to let the Borough know what the demand, locally, is for Self Build Projects. For anyone with the skills to tackle a self build, it sounds like a good idea.
More recently Dave Hodgson tweeted about another project to bring empty properties back into the housing market. It’s difficult to give much detail in a tweet, but around 100, empty private properties, have been brought back into use.
Bedford Borough are to be congratulated on these innovative approaches to the housing crisis, a crisis the Government seems incapable of tackling, despite its claims to the contrary.