Council shakes-up committee system to help boost financial controls

Cheshire East Council has introduced a new committee system will it says will see a boost to councillors' oversight of the finances, improve transparency and help target resources to council priorities more effectively.

Under proposals passed by the authority's finance sub-committee on July 1st, new 'financial assurance roles' have been built into each of the council's new service committees.

The Council says this will help it become more open and transparent and will see committees responsible for assuring that budgets are spent on delivering the objectives set out in the council's Corporate Plan.

The committee system's budget allocations are as follows:

  • Adults and Health - £120.4m
  • Children and Families - £90.8m
  • Highways and Transport - £102.2m
  • Economy and Growth - £53.2m
  • Environment and Communities - £53.1m
  • Corporate policy - £43.6m
  • Finance sub-committee - £19m

Councillor Amanda Stott, chair of the finance sub-committee, said: "I would like to thank the officers who have been involved in helping us to align our financial budgets from our cabinet system to our new committees.

"It means everyone can oversee the budgets and understand where we are at financially against the priorities of the council.

"The new budget process also provides each committee with a review of the mid-year position and the opportunity to comment on future proposals relating to their areas, by individual service area.

"This means more members will be involved, allowing them to share ideas to support the development of future proposals all of which can then be considered with the new budget consultation process."

Also discussed at the finance sub-committee was £5.5m of further funding that has been received by the council to support the response to the pandemic.

It includes funding towards:

  • Leisure recovery;
  • Discretionary grants;
  • Bus services support;
  • Costs to deliver electoral registrations;
  • Practical support for those self-isolating;
  • Rough sleeping initiative and homeless prevention;
  • Cold weather and winter grant scheme funding;
  • National tutoring and year 11 transition programme;Free school meals;
  • Public health grant;
  • Welcome back to the high streets; andAdministration of business support grants.

Councillor Stott added: "The pandemic has brought significant challenges to the council and these grants go some way to support our efforts in the fight against the virus and our recovery."

The finance sub-committee papers including a proposed budget-setting process, budget allocations and details of grant funding can be found on the Council's website.

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