Another year of fantasy budgeting for South Kesteven…

Last Tuesday’s meeting of the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (let’s call it FEDex for short) reviewed the Q3 Financial out-turn report for South Kesteven.

Around two years ago, I was arguing at Full Council that the budget proposals being presented by Cllr Adam Stokes (Con) on behalf of the ‘new’ Tory Cabinet led by Cllr Matthew Lee (Con). I stated at the time that they were over-ambitious and unachievable. They included, for example,

Another ‘saving’ of £30,000 was predicted from corporate consultancy. This was not acheived either.

  • A forecast of £250,000 additional income from car parks even though a planned increase in tariffs was abandoned. Surprise, surprise, the income never materialised.
  • Another ‘saving’ of £30,000 was predicted from corporate consultancy. This was not acheived either.
  • Cllr Cooke (Deputy Leader at the time) had his name against a raft of measures including £50,000 anticipated savings in utilties expenditure. The following year’s out-turn report admintted that these savings were never deliverable.
  • Cllr Cooke also had responsibility for £150,000 recurrent annual savings from ‘delivery of 3 specific shared service opportunities at £50,000 each. At the end of the year it was admitted that additional opportunities to share had been discounted resulting in the income target not being met.

The list continues of unmet targets for 2018-19 continues but this blogpost is about the unmet targets for 2019-20. Surely this year, some lessons would have been learned?

Sadly, the most recent meeting of the FEDetc Committee received a report showing an awful lot of variance between what was forecast and what has been delivered.

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