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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Delivering value for money and robust Council finances for Cheshire East residents

 

Cheshire East today released a key document to show the sound financial footing of the Council.

The value for money document, Guidance and data on the financial resilience of the Council, provides more than 30 graphs, charts and tables to inform elected members and other stakeholders about how the Council is managing its resources.

It shows data since the Council was formed in 2009 and considers the impact of factors such as Council Tax levels, government grants and borrowing requirements.

The Council has responded to reductions in central government grant by improving efficiency to maintain the highest possible level of service it can.

The Council has effectively managed around £100m of increased budgetary pressure, since 2010, due to reductions in central government grant support, increased demand for Council services and changing demographics.

Councillor Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of finance, said: “This is an innovative way of reporting which allows people to see how the Council is managing its finances in a way that maximises benefits to local people.

“The Council has frozen Council Tax for three consecutive years now. This is being achieved through sound financial management and by taking an innovative approach to changing the way the Council works to continue to deliver good-value services.

“For example, the highest cost, staff costs, is being reviewed through the management restructure and development of new arms-length companies.

“Also, the cost of borrowing has been reduced over time by good cash-flow management and financial reserves are being maintained at levels that protect the Council against risks.

“This document highlights how spending on local services in Cheshire East has been managed down over time and has remained below other comparable Councils.

“Such information is particularly important as we strive to deliver quality services available in the area while keeping costs down.”

Government funding means that spending power per head in Cheshire East is £756. This compares with a figure of £967 for the national average for English councils.

To view the financial resilience document, visit the Council’s website on www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

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