Mind the Gap
Want to use this post to draw as many people's attention as possible to a report on tomorrow's Executive Committee agenda talking about the Council's budget for 2016/17 and subsequent years.
By this time last year we had already published all the budget options that had been put forward for consideration and had set out a detailed consultation, scrutiny, and decision making timetable. This report tries to explain why we have not done the same this year. Essentially, we have such little certainty about what the financial settlement for next year might be, that any attempt at budgeting would be a complete shot in the dark and we don't want to be winding people up unnecessarily.
We should get some clues about future financial prospects when the government publishes its comprehensive spending review at the end of this month but we don't expect to get much real detail this side of Christmas. However we will still need to have a recommended budget by mid-February and we do want to have the sort of level of public involvement we had last year. That means a very busy January and tomorrow's report is amongst other things an attempt to give advance notice of that.