Wrexham Council accounts to 31 March 2013

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  • #65146

    Rob
    Participant

    @wxm 9839 wrote:

    the ‘open meetings’ of the Council are for a closed few in attendance?

    Hopefully with the rise of ‘Council TV’ it could be a case of each meeting gets a thread and discussion – and perhaps a video archive! :D

    #65157
    Wrecsam_lad
    Wrecsam_lad
    Participant

    @rob 9846 wrote:

    Hopefully with the rise of ‘Council TV’ it could be a case of each meeting gets a thread and discussion – and perhaps a video archive! :D

    They should use Skype for Council TV, that would be fun…

    #65173

    wxm
    Participant

    Searching the net there are a few “webcasts” going on. So Wrexham Council are going to steam live all open meetings as they happen?

    Are they making a blog available for the public to feed comments in and ask questions?

    The point about the accounts is not what the audit committee do to confirm they are correct, but how they use the information from last year to make an effective and appropriate budget for the forthcoming year. The Council can publish very straight forward information about revenue and spend, and how they are going to balance the budget. The surveys to ask which “cuts” to make are not relevant unless you understand all the money that comes in & goes out?

    #65153

    Arfon Jones
    Member

    The point about the accounts is not what the audit committee do to confirm they are correct, but how they use the information from last year to make an effective and appropriate budget for the forthcoming year.

    Every Authority is required to submit Annual Accounts to the Wales Audit Office every September who either sign them or not as was the case with Carms & Pembs this year. The format of the accounts is even laid down in legislation and is comparable to the previous year. The Audit Committee is one the public and press should attend to see how well (or not) we scrutinise the accounts and other reports like Internal Audit reports.

    #65174

    wxm
    Participant

    Apologies, but the point I am trying to make, is how the information from the accounts, provides us all with accurate financial facts to understand the revenue and spend for one year, and enable us all to debate collectively about what the revenue and spend budget should be for the forthcoming year.

    The survey with slide rules put out by the Council did not enable the community to comment on the whole budget. Surprisingly Education and Childrens Services spend is £14m down on the previous year. Is this trend likely to continue and why? Council democratic and running costs seem to be £27m, can this spend be reduced significantly? In other documents, the population of Wrexham is forecast to increase from 135k to 153k people, which would raise an additional rates income of about £8m per year?

    Is this type of mature debate held in public anywhere, and can the public contribute to a debate?

    #65154

    Arfon Jones
    Member

    Take your point I will raise it with the Chief Finance Officer and get back to you.

    #65162

    jimbow
    Participant

    I would be surprised if all the elected councillors could understand the Council Accounts.For those that do not, they are being led by Chief Officers for explanations.At a scrutiny committee meeting I attended the Chief Financial Officer made the point that the Markets were subsidised bythe Council.This was completely untrue. If this sort of wrong information is given to Councillors by those in control,what chance have counsillors,to come up with the right decisions.

    #65147

    Rob
    Participant

    As this is an apt topic – there is scrutiny this week on overspends : Council Overspends To Be Reviewed On Wednesday | Wrexham.com As usual it has links to the relevant PDFs.

    Parking is set to have a shortfall of £120k apparently!

    #65175

    wxm
    Participant

    It is good, if not critical, that this data and the issues surrounding it are coming into the direct public eye and debate.

    The fundamental problem we have is raising sufficient revenue (without damaging the economy and peoples well-being), to meet the spend that is needed to fund a safe, progressive and happy community.

    In the light of the financial circumstances (as a nation we borrowed to much money), this issue should demand constant focus? Is the term “Customer, Performance and Resources Scrutiny Committee” to grand, and the “process” becomes more important than the subject itself?

    The report highlights “overspend against budget”, but in such difficult times, when will the millions of pounds of core overhead be challenged in public?

    #65163

    jimbow
    Participant

    @rob 9865 wrote:

    As this is an apt topic – there is scrutiny this week on overspends : Council Overspends To Be Reviewed On Wednesday | Wrexham.com As usual it has links to the relevant PDFs.

    Parking is set to have a shortfall of £120k apparently!

    How can we have a shortfall of £120k ? when the parking areas are running at a 85% 0ccupancy level.What level of occupancy do the Council expect?Does the shortfall of £120k include any fines that may have been imposed for overstay situations?This could reduce that figure to zero.I notice in the report that there are no staffing implications associated with the report.Is Wrexham Council still employing the exact same number of traffic wardens whilst having a shortfall of £120k? It does not make sense to me.

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