Council spending and finances

How the Council spends money

Explore our statement of accounts, financial plans, capital programme and other aspects of how we spend money. We are committed to transparency in all our financial dealings. The following links set out all accounts and reports in full, however for specific information about individual transactions, salaries and members allowances, please see the Transparency and Open Data page.

Financial Planning and Budgeting

Budget setting and monitoring

The process by which the Council plans, set budgets and monitors expenditure for each annual cycle falls into three stages:

Stage one - Medium term financial planning

The medium term financial strategy sets out our estimated revenue income and expenditure, and capital expenditure over a minimum of the next three years. 

Stage two - Annual service budgets and capital project budgets set

The budgets for revenue and capital, for the upcoming year (year one of the medium term financial strategy) are then put forward and agreed in detail.

Stage three - Monitoring and spending
  • Once the year starts the actual spend against the agreed budgets are monitored through regular monitoring reports
  • At the end of the year we produce our accounts reporting the expenditure for the year

The cycle repeats for each year and the annual cycle for each year is as follows:

April - July
  • Review financial change and pressures in light of previous years results
  • Review strategic issues facing the authority in line with the objectives in the council plan
  • Agree and publish the medium term financial strategy and Council Plan
July - September
  • Based on forecast financial position and strategic priorities review service area budgets
  • This may involve identifying efficiencies and savings as well as, quantifying new areas of spending
September - December
  • Preparation of detailed budgets
  • Review overall position in light of any changes in funding coming from Local Government settlements
  • Consultation on draft budget proposals and capital investment launched
December - March
  • Update on Financial Plans (including Council Tax base and Government funding)
  • Consultation on budgets concludes (February)
  • Budgets scrutinised by overview & scrutiny and agreed
  • Full council debate and approval of budgets and council tax
Statement of Accounts

Members of the public and local government electors have certain rights in the audit process. Please read the Notice of Public Rights for more information.

Notice of delay in conclusion of audit

The Council’s external auditors have been unable to issue audit certificates since 2016/17, although the accounts have received unqualified audit opinions each year. This is because they cannot give a conclusion on the Council’s arrangements for securing Value for Money (VfM) until the outcome of the ongoing inquiry into the Grenfell tragedy is known.

 

 

Annual Audit Letters

Annual Audit Letters

Capital Programmes
Revenue budgets
How we spent your money
Pension Fund Report and Accounts

The activities and accounts of the pension fund:

Pension Fund Investment Strategy Statement 2020

Last updated: 9 September 2021