Council’s budget plans to be put under microscope by committee

The details of Buckinghamshire County Council’s proposed £324m budget will be put under the microscope later this month – and for the first time members of the public will be able to quiz council bosses.

A cross-party committee of councillors will question cabinet members on their departmental spending plans during three days of hearings from January 10 to 12 and will then produce a report listing any recommendations.

At a recent cabinet meeting council leader Martin Tett admitted that the committee took a ‘very thorough and intense’ approach which could prove to be a ‘gruelling experience’ – but that their input was an invaluable part of the budget-setting process.

For the first time, residents will be able to submit their questions on the budget which will be asked during the meetings, either by emailing or tweeting using #BucksBudget

The meetings will be held in public and also webcast online.

Committee chairman Bill Chapple said: “I have always been a great champion for transparency and openness and so I welcome questions from the public, which will receive an answer from a cabinet member.

“Our job as a committee is to make sure the budget is robust and facilitates the needs of the county and the people we serve, within the budget we have available.

“We will be diligent and asking the relevant questions to each cabinet member to make sure we are spending our money in the most prudent manner.”

Buckinghamshire County Council’s proposed net operating budget for 2017/18 is £324m, down from £325.6m for 2016/17.

You can view the draft budget here: