Tim's Council Diary: The View from Bournemouth

29 Sep 2023

I got to spend the last week (mainly working) at Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth.

And yes, there IS a reason for the hat and jacket. Honest.

Although the day job is standing in a 2m x 2m exhibition stand for 4 days, you get to have a lot of conversations and catch-up with people from across the country on other things too!

Key takeaway?

Local Government finances are in a tough place across the country.

Folkestone & Hythe are no worse placed than most, and actually better placed than many. However Government continues not to make things easier by changing the rules all the time, but without telling Councils in advance their forward funding for a few years.

Councils remain obliged to budget for the next 4 years, but without the Government giving an advance idea of the funding available through that period. You are most of the way into preparing next years budget before you have confirmed (in November or December) the assumptions on which that basis is formed - and nothing at all for the years beyond that. You make informed guesses, but that's all it is: guessing with style.

Madness? Yes. But it ain't my circus, and they ain't my clowns...


Comedy cannon

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