Public money, Public information

Budgets, cash flows and performance to budget can be a dry subject but a very telling one, at the county and district level it is also a very public one.

At Suffolk County Council its annual £1Billion is debated in public over the course of about three month from first draft to final vote. Four times a year, the cabinet, in public, debate the Councils’ performance to budget. In my previous role as a Cabinet member for Health and Adult Care I had to report performance against budget of the departments spend of about £225Million; from now on I will lead on the performance to budget debates across the piece.

At both Councils any item of spending over £500.00 is also a matter of public record for public scrutiny.

At Forest Health I chair the Performance and Audit Scrutiny committee and we provide an opinion on the performance of the actual spend to the approved budget and the risks to the council where budget performance is not as it should be, again in full open session with published papers.

So in short at both Councils, all budget figures, performance reports to budget and scrutiny papers are published and meetings held in public.

What a contrast to my local parish Council in Lakenheath. Of course its budget of £123,000 (this year’s) is much lower that the District £11Million or the County’s £1Billion but it is still public money and thus it should be open and transparent.

The budget and actual spend is not posted on the villages web site but to be fair when I asked the clerk for it I did receive it. I think it should be published on their web site as should its quarterly performance. A simply task, take the excel spreadsheet create a .pdf file and post it, could not be simpler.

It’s public money and so the budget and spend should be public information.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, BurySt. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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