Bedford Borough Council face significant cuts in their funding from government and are required to set out their spending plans for the next four years. With this in mind the council launched a consultation exercise on 193 separate spending cuts.
Officers from BCHA reviewed these plans and noted proposals that would have an adverse effect on our ability to deliver services to our tenants and residents. The Council was proposing to cut the money it pays BCHA to provide care at Bedford Charter House and support at our Sheltered Schemes. It is also proposing to transfer our successful Breathing Space project, providing short-term beds for people leaving hospital, to another provider.
We ran a very successful campaign to highlight why the services should not be cut. Publicity in the Beds on Sunday, letters and e-mails to Bedford’s MP and the Mayor ensured that those in a position to influence the final decision were left in no doubt of the quality of the service BCHA provides and the need for it to continue. The result of this is that officers at Bedford Borough Council are going to be recommending that the Breathing Space service remain at Bedford Charter House until 2013 rather than 2012 as was in the original proposal. This will mean we have a year to prove it should stay at BCHA. This is an excellent result considering this change of heart is one of only 12 changes that the officers are recommending to their original 193 budget proposals.
Many thanks to everyone who took the time to contact the council and their MP regarding the proposals.