The Executive Director of Resources presented the Budget Framework report, which outlined the steps that would be taken as part of the budget setting process over the winter and the proposed method for Member engagement during this process.
Cabinet was advised that the budget would be very complicated and would be developed at a challenging time for local government, so it was important to ensure that Members were properly engaged in the process of developing the budget. A number of Members had previously requested further information about the budget setting process and local government finance and the proposals in respect of Member engagement would help to address this.
Different methods would be used to present budget data for Members’ consideration, including tables comparing current financial projections with data for previous years. Member workshops and other meetings would be held to enable Members to discuss budget matters at an early stage, rather than in February, directly before the budget was set at Council.
Members welcomed the proposals detailed in the report and the opportunities provided for Member engagement in the budget setting process, including the involvement of the Finance and Budget Working Group. Reference was made to the hard work of the Financial Services team in respect of the budget and Members thanked Officers for this.
During consideration of this item, the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, Councillor C. Hotham, advised that scrutiny Members had pre-scrutinised the report. The majority of scrutiny Members had welcomed the proposals detailed within the report and had welcomed a constructive approach to Member engagement.
RESOLVED that that the updated member engagement plan for the 2022/23 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan Report is noted and supported.