The Mayor invited Councillor Clement Williams to ask a question, which had been submitted under Rule 9.2 of the Council’s Procedure Rules.
Cllr Clement Williams asked:
“Our Labour Group believe that the Budget Proposals currently out for Consultation does not present a balanced Budget. There are no income and expenditure tables and we are concerned that the Budget documentation is very basic and lacks in-depth details.
During the Cabinet Scrutiny meeting the Labour Group raised concerns about the lack of detail and we were assured by Officers that more information would be added and would be sent out with the consultation document. This has not happened.
We therefore ask as a question: As the consultation has already started and ends on 10th February that this information be provided and released by the Council by the end of this week so that residents responding to the consultation get the chance to have their say on what this Budget actually means to their Services”.
Cllr Simon Knoyle (Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Social Justice) responded and stated that a budget ‘explainer video’ had been produced and uploaded to the Council website and had been promoted via social media channels as well as a hard copy being produced and distributed.
He stated that face to face and hybrid budget briefings are still ongoing as part of the communications plan and have been shared with the scrutiny committee members. The Cabinet report of the 19th January 2023 showed a balanced budget as the Council is required to produce by law, which forms the basis of the consultation document, together with a detailed analysis of the risks associated with the proposed budget strategy. These documents have also been presented to each scrutiny committee to allow for as much member involvement as possible.
Councillor Clement Williams responded with concerns surrounding budget specifics of subsidies and fees and charges which she felt were not included in detail in the budget consultation documentation. She reiterated the concern of the lack of detail and how the budget documentation refers to delegated decisions in relation to fees and charges.
The Mayor clarified the process in asking a question under rule 9.2 and drew the question to a close.