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Constitution - Part 5E - Budget and policy framework procedure rules

 

 

1.1 Full Council is responsible for the approval of the annual Budget and also the individual policies and strategies which form the statutory Policy Framework as set out in Part 2A of this Constitution.

1.2 It is the responsibility of the Cabinet to implement the Budget and Policy Framework once it has been formally approved by Council.

1.3 These rules are made in accordance these with the requirements of the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) Regulations 2001, the Local Authorities (Functions and Responsibilities) (England) Regulations 2000 and Local Government Finance Act.

2.1 The Cabinet will:

(i) publicise in the Forward Plan the timetable for making proposals to the Council for the adoption of any plan, strategy, or budget that forms part of the Budget and Policy Framework

(ii) make arrangements for an appropriate consultation period on the initial proposals

(NB Consultation time vary and may be statutory or non-statutory.  For non-statutory consultation the "Cumbria Compact" an Agreement between the Public, Community and Voluntary Sectors in Cumbria normally requires a consultation period of 12 weeks on relevant issues)

(iii) notify the Chairs of all Scrutiny Boards of the initial proposals to enable Scrutiny Boards to investigate and respond  to the proposals during the consultation period

2.2 At the end of the consultation period, the Cabinet will draw up final proposals, having regard to the responses to the consultation, including responses from Scrutiny Boards.

2.3 Once Cabinet has approved the proposals, it will recommend them to Council for a decision.

2.4 The report to Council will reflect the comments made by consultees and Cabinet's response.

2.5 In reaching a decision in respect of the Annual Budget (as defined by Part 5G Financial Standing Orders section FR1 the Council will follow the procedure set out in the Protocol for Budget Debate.

2.6 In approving the Budget, the Council will also specify the extent of amendments of approved budgets  and budget transfers (virements) within the approved Budget in accordance with Part 5G Financial Standing Orders FR2.

2.7 In reaching a decision to approve an individual policy or draft strategy, which forms part of the Policy Framework, full Council may:

(i) Approve the policy or strategy as drafted,  or

(ii) Inform the Leader of any objections and instruct him or her to  require the Cabinet to reconsider the policy or draft strategy in the light of the Council's objections

2.8 The Leader will have 5 working days (or a longer period if the Council  agrees) to consider the Council's objections and submit his/her response

2.9 The Cabinet will meet during that period, following which the Leader may:

(i)   Submit to Council a revised draft plan or strategy with reasons for the amendments; or

(ii)  Inform the Council of any disagreement with the Council's objections and proposed amendments and the reasons why

2.10 In amending, approving or adopting any policy or draft strategy full Council must take into account the Leader's response on behalf of the Cabinet.

2.11 When approving a policy or draft strategy Council will specify the  degree of in-year changes to the Policy Framework which may be undertaken by Cabinet, in accordance with rule 6 of these Procedure Rules.

2.12 Any other changes to the Policy and Budget Framework are the responsibility of full Council.

3.1 Any executive decision by the Cabinet, Officers, Local Committees, or under joint arrangements, must be in accordance with the Budget and Policy Framework. (unless rule 5 of these Procedure Rules applies).

3.2 The Monitoring Officer and/or Section151 Officer will advise whether any executive decision is in accordance with the Budget and Policy Framework.

3.3 Any decision outside the approved Budget and Policy Framework may only be taken by full Council (unless the decision is urgent in which case the procedure at rule 4 must be followed).

4.1 An executive decision which is not  in accordance with the  Policy Framework and/or approved budget may be taken if the decision is urgent  and:

(i)  it is not practical to convene a quorate meeting of the Council;  and

(ii) the Chair of the relevant Scrutiny Board agrees that the decision needs to be taken as a matter of urgency.

4.2 The decision record must state why it is not practical to convene a quorate meeting of Council and also set out the Chair of the relevant Scrutiny Board's consent to the decision being taken as a matter of urgency.

4.3 In the absence of the Chair of a relevant Scrutiny Board then the consent of the Chair of the Council or (in the absence of both) the Vice-Chair of Council will be sufficient.

4.4 The decision taker must report to the next available Council meeting explaining the decision, the reasons for it, and why the decision was treated as a matter of urgency.

5.1 The Council's scheme for the amendment of approved budgets including budget transfers (virements)  is included in the Part 5G Financial Standing Orders FR2.

6.1 The approval of the Policy Framework is the responsibility of full Council.

6.2 No changes to any policy and/or strategy which make up the Policy Framework may be made by Cabinet, Officers, Local Committees, or under joint arrangements, except;

(a) any changes in accordance with any authorisation made in Rule 2.11.

(b) a Corporate Director may make any changes required to give effect to the requirements of the secretary of state or a minister of the Crown in relation to a plan or strategy submitted to him/her for approval.

(c) a corporate director may make any changes recommended by a person under section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, an independent examination of a development plan document.

7.1 Where a Scrutiny Board is of the opinion that an Executive decision is, or if made would be contrary to the Policy Framework and/or approved Budget, it will seek advice from the Monitoring Officer and/or Section 151 Officer.

7.2 If the function is the responsibility of the Cabinet, the Monitoring Officer and/or Section 151 Officer will report to the Cabinet, with a copy provided to every member of the Council. 

7.3 Regardless of whether the decision is delegated or not, the Cabinet will decide what action to take in respect of the Monitoring Officer's and/or Section 151 Officer's report and will:

(i)  If advised that the decision was a departure prepare a report to full Council

(ii) If advised that the decision was not a departure prepare a report to the relevant Scrutiny Board

7.4 If the decision has yet to be made, or has been made but not yet implemented, and the advice from the Monitoring Officer and/or the Section 151 Officer  is that the decision is, or would be, contrary to  the Policy Framework and/or  approved Budget, the Scrutiny Board may refer the matter to Council.

7.5 No further action will be taken in respect of the decision or its implementation until the Council has met and considered the matter.

7.6 The Council will meet within 21 days of the request by the Scrutiny Board.  At the meeting, it will receive a report on the decision or proposals, and the advice of the Monitoring Officer and/or the Section 151 Officer.  The Council may either:

(i) Endorse the decision or proposal of the Executive decision taker as falling within the existing Budget and Policy Framework.  In this case, no further action is required; or

(ii) Amend the Council's financial regulations or policy concerned to encompass the decision or proposal of the body or individual responsible for that executive function, and agree to the decision with immediate effect.  In this case, no further action is required; or

(iii) Where the Council accepts that the decision or proposal is not in accordance with the Policy Framework, and/or approved Budget, and does not amend the existing Framework to accommodate it, require the Cabinet to reconsider the matter in accordance with the advice of either the Monitoring Officer or the Section 151 Officer.