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Cheshire East Accounts published

Cheshire East Council Accounts for 2012-13



Cheshire East Council has unveiled its draft accounts for 2012/13. The accounts show that the council results came in just ahead of budget. The Labour Group welcomes the improved financial discipline and congratulates staff on this achievement.


However, the Labour group notes that meeting the budget was achieved by


1) A deliberate underspend of £2.8m in Early Intervention & Prevention

At the start of the year the promise was that we would invest in early intervention and prevention in order to save money in the future (invest to save)

Instead the Council have cut funding for early intervention and prevention in order to meet the short term budget requirements (cut to spend)


2) £1.5m of extra Health Service funding

The council has received 3 x £0.5m extra funding for Adult Services only one of these payments of £0.5m is likely to recur in 2013/14

Even with this extra funding Individual Commissioning was overspent by £1.2m



Other Comments


Strategic Commissioning was £2m overspent

There is plenty of evidence that the Council is not good at Strategic Commissioning. Yet the Conservatives seem determined to press ahead with more outsourcing/commissioning without first properly investigating what has gone wrong in the past. The Conservatives seem to be ideologically committed to pursuing new outsourcing projects despite large overspends. Shouldn’t the Council call a halt to new strategic commissioning and outsourcing until it has got its house in order?



Car parking income was £1m off budget

The Labour group has long campaigned on the Council’s absurd and inconsistent handling of car parking charges. The figures have proved that Labour was right all along.



In the capital budget Highways have ‘slipped’ £7.5m of expenditure into future years –no wonder the roads are a mess.



Usable Reserves have fallen from £63m to £51m. Total Reserves have fallen from £378m to £239m, meaning that total reserves have more than halved over the last 2 years.


Cllr Steve Hogben said,

“The improved financial discipline is welcome.

But overall usable reserves have fallen. As the external auditor said in 2012, the Council cannot continue running down its reserves.”


Cllr Sam Corcoran said,

“There are three levels of manager involvement in budgets:

1.      This isn’t my budget and it’s not my problem if it isn’t met

2.      This isn’t my budget, but it is my problem if it isn’t met

3.      This is my budget and I will make sure that it is met


In the early days of this administration the Council was in level 1. It appears that it has now moved to level 2. It now needs to move to level 3 where all managers are fully involved in setting the budget and are committed from the outset to meet the budget they have helped to construct.”

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