Current budget 2017 to 2018
The county council is operating in the most challenging conditions in its existence. Significant demographic growth, coupled with ever reducing funding from central government has led to a point where only radical transformation will ensure that we have a sustainable financial platform from which we can continue to deliver for the residents of the county. This financial platform is underpinned by our belief in the fair and equitable use of resources to meet the needs of the communities within Northamptonshire.
The budget process is a continuous cycle of processes throughout the year. The diagram below sets out the process for the production of the 2017 to 2018 budget.
|April and May||Areas of review are identified as part of closing the accounts and as an outcome of the challenge process for the Medium Term Financial Plan.|
|June||Indicative Cash Limit figures are issued to Directors. Guidance is issued within which budget plans are to be developed.|
|July and August||Commencement of Medium Term Financial Plan policy group meetings. CMT discuss approach and develop high level plans and priorities.|
|September||First budget planning meetings, to widen understanding and encourage challenge of budget proposals.|
|October||Budget meetings to enable challenge of budget proposals led by the Corporate Management Team and Corporate Leadership Team.|
|November||Provisional figures for Local Government financial settlement are announced in late November or early December. Cabinet considers strategic and resource position and finalises overall spending and tax figures.|
|December||Draft budget and Medium Term Financial Plan recommended by Cabinet for formal consultation. Consultation period begins.|
|January||Overview and Scrutiny Committees review draft budget proposals. Final amount of Government financial support announced.|
|February||Medium Term Financial Plan is approved by Cabinet. Cabinet recommends the budget and Council Tax to Council. Council agrees budget and Council Tax levels.|
| March|| Implement Medium Term Financial Plan. Budget planning cycle commences for the following year.|
Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) is reviewed and refreshed on an annual basis. Assumptions made when setting the previous MTFP are reviewed and updated where necessary. New information on funding and service delivery is assessed and factored into the MTFP.
The Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) covers the period 2017-18 to 2020-21 and forms part of the council's corporate planning process. It gives a financial expression to the council's plans over the next four years and will enable the council to effectively plan for the financial pressures it faces and to ensure consistency in service delivery to its customers.
The council needs a high level funded plan for its priority outcomes and core purpose which balances the available financing with its spending needs. It includes the financial strategy, financial assumptions and inherent financial risks, but more importantly it links decisions on resource allocations to policy decisions on priorities.
In the challenging economic environment and reduced levels of government funding delivering stability is an essential part of setting the council's budget. This is done by ensuring that changes from year to year in resources available and the financing implications of those changes are, as far as possible, predicted and managed. The council needs to ensure it is making the best use of all resources, delivering efficiencies where possible and optimising the financial resources available to the council over the life of the MTFP.
The Medium Term Financial Plan was approved by Full Council on 23 February 2017 and the related documents can be viewed below:
Previous budget books
Medium Term Capital Programme
Capital expenditure forms a large part of the council's spending on the provision of services. The Medium Term Capital Programme captures these spending plans and additionally outlines how spend is funded.