Budget Scrutiny

The Performance & Finance Overview & Scrutiny Board had an opportunity recently to carry out pre decision scrutiny of the Council budget for 2012/13.  They invited the other Overview & Scrutiny Board Chairs and Vice Chairs to the meeting, which was held on 13th February, to enable a more inclusive discussion of the budget proposals before they went to Cabinet later that day and to Council on 20th February.  The meeting was well attended, with all the Overview & Scrutiny Boards being represented.  Councillors had the opportunity to put questions to the Cabinet Member for Finance, Councilor Stuart Rice, and to the Head of Finance.

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The Board had been given the reports on the Capital Budget & Programme 2012/13 – 2015/16, Revenue Budget 2012/13, Medium Term Financial Plan 2013/14 – 2015/16, Treasury Management Strategies Prudential Indicators Investment Strategy & Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement 2012/13 and the Housing Revenue Account – Revenue Budget 2012/13 & Capital Budget 2012/13 – 2014/15.  These reports can be found here.

Topics that were discussed included:

  • Sale of school land
  • Unsupported borrowing
  • Contingency Fund
  • Capital maintenance backlog
  • Schools protection
  • Insurance Reserves
  • Leisure centre subsidy
  • Budget reporting
  • ER/VR scheme
  • Council Tax freeze
  • Wales National Pool
  • Music Service
  • Bus subsidies
  • Community safety
  • Housing Revenue Account under spend
  • Eurozone crisis and its effect on the investment strategy
  • Inflation

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The meeting had to adjourn at 2 pm to avoid clashing with the Cabinet meeting and it reconvened on 16th February to resume and concluded its deliberations.  The comments and questions raised by the Board were encapsulated in a letter from the Chair, Councillor Darren Price, to the Cabinet Member for Finance.  This will be included in the next Board agenda and will be available here in due course.

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