With so many different priorities and pressures on councils’ financial resources, and so many different factors playing into the opportunities for income generation, it is unsurprising that sometimes the level of savings achieved or income generated does not meet the forecast included within a council’s budget.
Councils are required by law to have a balanced budget each financial year and provide ‘best value’ to residents. There is always a concern that revising budgets, if forecast savings or income is not achieved, will have a negative impact on residents, with it even becoming necessary to make severe cuts to frontline services in order to balance the books.
Deliverability of proposals and commitments within the budget should be a priority for any council, and setting realistic and balanced budgets to achieve this is a key indicator of good governance, not to mention a statutory requirement. As such, a deliverable budget is vital to the successful running of a council.
A balanced approach
The best way to ensure deliverability of a budget is to approach it with a combination of strategic and pragmatic decision making, supported by good governance from the start.
With limited funds, councils need to think carefully about where their money is best spent to give the greatest value to residents. These services then need to be prioritised, so that they can have the biggest impact. Councils’ costs are rising, the demand on services is also rising while at the same time, their resources and income are getting both smaller and harder to predict.
C.Co can help
Here at C.Co, our team specialises in providing clients with practical, achievable solutions when it comes to looking at their organisations and how decision making, accounting and governance can all be improved. We work collaboratively to help councils and local authorities to establish a good governance framework, with sound financial, performance and risk management mechanisms, underpinning effective decision making and providing real accountability for savings and income target delivery.
Strengthening financial sustainability, governance and oversight is the key to being an effective organisation. With our support to improve or enhance existing frameworks, councils can respond more effectively to the difficult challenges facing them in the immediate and longer term.
Speak to us to find out how we can help you.