The announcement of Durham’s budget, financial plan and capital investment programme for the next financial year is to be delayed.
It follows today news from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that the county council’s final grant settlement for 2016/17 will not be released until Monday February 8.
The figures had been expected in time for a report to go before Cabinet members next week (February 10). Statutory procedures mean that papers to be considered in this way must be published a set number of days in advance of the meeting so that they can be examined by the public.
This revised settlement date means that in order to follow these procedures a special meeting needs to be arranged – the Leader of Durham County Council, Cllr Simon Henig, has agreed that this will now take place on February 17 at 10am at County Hall.
Cllr Henig said: “It’s essential we offer residents absolute clarity when we outline what money we will have to spend and explain where it will be directed – we cannot do this without final settlement figures from the Government.
“There will be no delay to the implementation, as the papers will still go before Full Council towards the end of the month, however process means we will have to hold two special meetings to make sure we adhere to our statutory duties.
“As usual all these meetings will be public.”
The knock on effect to this enforced delay also means a special Joint Overview and Scrutiny Management Board and Corporate Issues Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 19 February at 11.30am will need to take place. The scheduled meeting for 12 February will also still go ahead.
As scheduled Cabinet’s Budget Report will still be presented to the Full Council meeting on February 24.