What we spend and how we spend it
In order to prepare the budget for the following year the Council will produce a Medium Term Financial Plan which provides a framework the budget to be prepared within. This will help inform how the Revenue Budgets, the Capital Programme and the Fees and Charges are produced as they will need to incorporate the key principles outlined in the Medium Term Financial Plan.
In preparing the Revenue and Capital budgets the impact of the Councils Priority Plans and Service Plans will be incorporate into establishing what the Council is going to spend its money. At the same time as preparing the Revenue and Capital Budgets a Treasury Management Strategy will also be produced which will incorporate the impact of the Capital Spend on future financing requirements and any impact on revenue costs for the budget. It also lays out what additional income the Council may receive from investments it may have from the reserves it has.
At the end of the financial year the Council will prepare a Statement of Accounts that will provide the financial standing of the authority at that point in time and outline what the Council spent its money on over that year. In addition to this a Summary of Accounts document is also produced to provide a more user friendly overview of the past year and this will also feed into the Councils Annual Report.
Strategies and Policies
The purpose of the Medium Term Financial Plan is to translate the Council's strategic direction and priority outcomes into financial terms. It is an over-arching view of how the council will raise and spend money over a five-year period.
The Capital Programme and Annual Revenue Budget provide a more detailed account of expected income and expenditure for the forthcoming year, together with indicative figures for the next two years.
The Fees & Charges Strategy guides decision making on the setting of fees and charges and links in to the Council's core priorities and objectives. The fees and charges set for each year feed into the Annual Revenue Budget.
The Council's Debt Management Strategy outlines a framework to control how money owed to the Council is managed and collected. It covers Council Tax, Business Rates and Council House Rents income, all of which are detailed in the Annual Revenue Budget.
The Treasury Management Strategy outlines expected treasury activity for three years. It covers debt and investment projections together with the expected movement in interest rates and sets out how the Council will borrow and invest. It is linked to the Capital programme and the projections of interest earned and borrowed feeds into the Annual Revenue Budget.
The Value for Money Strategy sets out how the Council will work to improve efficiency, effectiveness and economy. Efficiency savings are included as part of the Annual Revenue Budget.
The aim of the Risk Management Strategy is to ensure that risk is managed consistently across the Council. These would include risks around not achieving objectives and outcomes covered by other strategies. It is closely linked to the Internal Audit Three year Plan/Strategy. Internal audit provides an independent and objective assurance to management and members on the effectiveness of risk management. The three year plan sets out which areas are to be assessed based on the level of inherent risk or identified risks.
The Whistle-Blowing policy is independent of the above strategies. It covers the way in which the Council will deal with alleged corruption.