More engagement in budget setting

The public and stakeholders will have more say in how Dumfries and Galloway Council sets its budget. Councillors agreed an engagement timetable at the recent full council meeting.
The public and stakeholders will have more say in how Dumfries and Galloway Council sets its budget. Councillors agreed an engagement timetable at the recent full council meeting.

Councillors have agreed to improve public and stakeholder engagement in the 2019/20 budget setting process.

At last week’s full council meeting, a timetable of events was approved by councillors that sets out exactly how the different stages of the budget setting process will interlink with one another.

It also provides deadlines for savings options to be established, scrutinised and agreed

In addition to the savings, the timetable sets out how and when the local authority will agree its spend for the next financial year, based on the Scottish Government’s settlement figure.

Members also agreed that a consultation and engagement mandate should be prepared for this budget setting process, to ensure that full compliance of the council’s own Participation and Engagement Strategy is fulfilled.

This will mean there is more time in the process for stakeholder engagement and that time is allowed for proposals to be published in suitable time to allow for constructive discussions within both internal and external to the council.

The agreed report states that the budget must be clearly linked the council priorities and commitments and be sustainable over the longer term.

Reserve funds will be maintained, and capital investments should be prudent and affordable.

After the meeting, council leader Elaine Murray said: “This decision is fundamental to the budget setting process for next and future years.

“The timetable sets out that detailed proposals will be developed between July and October, with politicians providing direction on these proposals and savings by the end of October this year. Once these have been have agreed by political groups they will be distributed for community stakeholder engagement.”

The timetable sets out that detailed proposals will be developed between July and October, with politicians providing direction on these proposals and savings by the end of October this year.

Once agreed they will be distributed for community stakeholder engagement.