Focus on spending

People can next week ask questions about how their council tax is spent.

Everything from Covid to children’s services and roads to regeneration goes under the microscope over three days of scrutiny as the leader and his cabinet account for their spending proposals from 1 April 2021.

The Budget Scrutiny Select Committee Inquiry’s work will cover every area of spending on services to challenge whether the right amount is being spent correctly.

The special select committee, made up of cross-party councillors, will question every cabinet member on details of each of their spending plans. 

The committee also invites questions from Bucks residents, businesses and community groups to include in the discussions.

Any questions?
Questions for any of the sessions should be submitted in advance by email to [email protected] 

Questions can also be submitted to @buckscouncil on the Council’s Twitter and Facebook sites. They should be submitted by 9am on Monday 11 January. As much time as possible will be set aside for public questions and every session can be viewed live via webcast.

The details of the three, all-day sessions are:
Monday 11 January

  • 10.30am, Leader, Martin Tett.
  • 11.45am, Capital spending, Katrina Wood, John Chilver.
  • 2pm, Children’s services, youth provision and education, Mark Shaw, Anita Cranmer, Tony Green.
  • 3.30pm, Adult social care and public health, Angela Macpherson,Gareth Williams.

Tuesday 12 January

  • 10am, Planning and environment, Warren Whyte, Bill Chapple, Patrick Hogan.
  • 11.15am, Economic growth, regeneration and property & assets, Steve Bowles, John Chilver, Martin Tett.
  • 1pm, Highways, transport and logistics, Nick Naylor, David Martin.
  • 1.45pm, Strategic transport and infrastructure, Nick Naylor, Martin Tett.
  • 2.45pm, Resources, Katrina Wood.

Thursday 14 January

  • 10am, Culture, sports and leisure, Patrick Hogan, Clive Harriss, Gareth Williams.
  • 11.15am, Neighbourhood services, Bill Chapple, Fred Wilson.
  • 12.15pm, Housing and regulatory services, Isobel Darby, Fred Wilson.
  •, Deputy Chief Executive service, Martin Tett, Gareth Williams (localities), Katrina Wood.
  • 2.45pm, Leader and conclusions, Martin Tett.

Select Committee Inquiry chairman Ralph Bagge, who is heading up the budget scrutiny process, is urging people to send in their questions.

He said: ‘We all have a view about what should be spent on local council services, so I welcome people joining in to make sure we have our priorities right.

‘It’s hugely important, particularly with the pressures of the ongoing pandemic, that our budget for the next financial year is robust, that we are balancing the books, and that it serves the needs of the county and our residents in the best way possible.’

The full programme for the three select committee meetings, together with all the background papers, is available on the Democracy webpage.

Following the scrutiny process, the Select Committee will produce a final report listing recommendations which will be presented to the cabinet on 16 February. Final budget decisions, including the level of council tax for 2021/22, will then be made by the full council at its meeting on 24 February.