Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and Budget Monitoring – County Council 15th February 2017 – Shire Hall – Request to Speak

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Q1 In February 2016 this Council set a “balanced budget” for 2016/17.
Based on the end of the accounting period (Quarter 1) April to June
2016 there was a forecast “overspend”/ “underfund” for the year
2016/17 of approximately £24m.

http://www.somerset.gov.uk/EasySiteWeb/GatewayLink.aspx?alId=97582

http://www.somerset.gov.uk/policies-and-plans/plans/medium-term-financial-plan/

i)             Will you explain how the financial planning and
forecasting was so adrift just 3 months in to the (as then) new
financial year?

ii)            What factors were not anticipated?

iii)           Was this poor planning or artificially low budget
setting in February 2016?

iv)           How can we be assured that this meetings “balanced
budget” will not be so wayward in the same accounting quarter (on a
£300+m budget)?

Q2 This year’s MTFP is based on 7 Themes, unlike previous years where
specific service “savings” (and “cuts”) have been identified in the
budget papers with corresponding Impact Assessments.

i)             Please detail the “planned” savings by service area?

ii)            Please can you identify the cuts by service area?

iii)           How can alternative budgets be proposed if, as this
seems, the savings and cuts cannot be clearly identified?

iv)           How can electors, citizens, residents and council
taxpayers, community and voluntary organisations clearly identify the
impact of the savings and cuts and participate in meaningful
consultation?

v)            Is there a risk register associated with each specific
service area savings?

Best wishes

Nigel Behan

Unite Branch Secretary

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