Exemplary financial management achieves balanced or better budget for 11th year in a row

Posted on Thursday 14th June 2018

End of year figures reported to Bournemouth’s Cabinet (24 May) show an overall underspend of £227,000 for 2017/18. This means the council has achieved a balanced or better budget for eleven consecutive years.

Cllr John Beesley, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Resources said, “It is not without significant effort on the part of Members and Officers that we have once again achieved this position. Budget controls need to be actively and rigorously applied throughout the year.  It is this robust approach that has allowed us to turn a predicted overspend, largely due to the significant pressures on demand-led services such as adults’ and children’s social care, into a final outturn underspend.

“I am particularly proud of Bournemouth’s strong financial performance in this and previous years, especially given the pressures of drastically falling Government funding and ever-increasing demand for key services.  Our residents expect us to not only look after the vulnerable in our town but also to fix the roads, keep the libraries open, maintain our famous gardens and beaches and empty the bins.  We continue to do all of this and more, winning national accolades for our open spaces and beach cleanliness, keeping all the borough’s libraries open, maintaining weekly food waste collections and operating an active pothole repair programme, to name but a few.  This is certainly not the case in many councils up and down the country and we are rightly proud of our record in maintaining service standards throughout a very difficult decade for local government.”

Cabinet agreed to allocate the surplus £227,000 to an Economic Growth project for Bournemouth, focusing on:

-       Promoting Wessex Fields Business Park

-       Enhancing Lansdowne business district

-       Encouraging continued growth in Bournemouth town centre

-       Funding local priorities through the Local Improvement Fund, and

-       Supporting the Digital Economy

Cllr Beesley continued, “Bournemouth continues to attract private investment as is evidenced by the changing skyline in our town. Government continues to recognise our ability to deliver on key priorities such as infrastructure and housing. This Economic Growth Fund for 2018/19 will further place the town in a strong position to continue to grow and prosper.”