Eden District Council Budget Consultation 2019/20

Including the response of Adrian Waite of AWICS

The Council's budget process started with consideration of the Resources Plan by full Council in September 2018. This set out the context within which the budget is set. It included an updated Medium Term Financial Plan 2018-22 covering the period 2018-22 and that considered the budgetary challenges facing the Council,

The key stages of the process are:
  • 22 January 2019 - Executive agrees the final budget to recommend to Council in the light of any consultation feedback, including that of the scrutiny process.
  • 14 February 2019 - Council agrees a budget.
  • 21 February 2019 - Accounts and Governance Committee sets the overall Council Tax bill.

The Executive agreed the draft revenue and capital budgets on 11 December 2018. The draft budgets are based on the existing detailed base budgets, as adjusted for proposed savings and areas of new expenditure, known as growth. The budgets also consider the level of Council Tax and how much of the balances, known as reserves, are needed to support the proposed level of expenditure.

To view the Council's consultation documents, please click here.

Adrian Waite has responded to the consultation in his capacity as a resident of Eden and as Managing Director of ‘AWICS'. He concludes that the Council is being insufficiently ambitious in this budget and that there may be an opportunity to improve financial management. He suggests that the Council consider:

  • A more significant capital programme to address especially the economic development and housing objectives that it has identified, funded through surplus reserves, prudential borrowing and more effective asset management.
  • Providing greater clarity and transparency about the objectives and activities of ‘Heart of Cumbria’ (the Council's arms' length development company).
  • Improvements to the project management of the capital programme.
  • Approving revenue budgets that do not contain ‘budget slack’, that aim to reduce reserves to an appropriate level and that focus resources on direct services.
  • Adopting a more robust approach to risk management and stress testing.
  • Increasing Council Tax by 3% in 2019/20.

To view or download a copy of Adrian's response, please click here.

Penrith Town Hall, the headquarters of Eden District Council.

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