Saturday, 19 January 2013

Budget Challenge

We have just published draft proposals for the budget for 2013/2014 which need to deliver revenue savings of £10.5M to achieve a balanced net budget of £139M for the coming year. It will be interesting to see how this process works in circumstances whee the Administration does not have an overall majority. In formulating our proposals we have taken account of the views of members from all groups but it is of course a very different thing to expresss support for unpopular measures behind closed doors as against accepting accountability for the measures to the general public. In previous years our opposition groups have been able to criticise our plans and economies without identifying their counter proposals or putting forward their alternative budgets. This year it is different as collectively they have the power to vote down any specific proposal but subject to identifying a compensating cut. I wait with interest how they react to this or will we see the usual rush to avoid any unpopular move but fail to suggest an alternative. The draft budget will go to cabinet on Tuesday for approval and will then be subject to scrutiny and review by other members, businesses and the public. The draft will be reviewed by cabinet before being referred to full council at the end of February who have the ultimate power and responsibility to set a balanced budget for the coming year.I will be updating this blog as we progress.

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