Local Government Association experts condemns York Labour’s 'financially illiterate' budget

15 May 2024

A bombshell report, released by experts at the Local Government Association has found serious holes in Labour's 2024/25 budget process, finding that it lacked collaboration and focused too heavily on short term savings targets and not enough on investing to save programmes.

The Council has issued a Press Release asking residents to fill in a consultation on the Improvement Framework following the Peer Challenge report.

The report said:

“Corporate budget setting needs to be more robust, open and collaborative… There would be significant value to the council of more collaborative budget build over time and in the lead up to budget setting.

“The Council on occasion appears risk averse with minimal exploration of invest to save opportunities… The transformation mindset will be possible to take forward if there is a move away from cutting and shaving odd costs and some focus on investing now in order to save in the future.” 

Councillor Nigel Ayre, Leader of the York Liberal Democrat Group said in response to the Report and the Council’s Press Release: 

“This is the first peer review since I have been elected that has been done on a purely partisan basis. It featured no cross-party peers, only included officers from Labour run local authorities and was planned completely behind closed doors.

“Considering that one of the key recommendations outlined in the report includes earlier access to papers and expanded access to information for members the process around this report leaves a lot of room for improvement. 

“This review should be a real wake up call for the Executive. Contrary to the claims of fiscal prudence the peer reviewers have found “concern over how robust the planning and delivery of savings and budget is in both the current financial year and the medium term” as well as a need to “improve financial literacy.” 

“The peer review also drives a coach and horses through the false narrative of raiding reserves showing quite clearly how healthy the council reserves were when handed over. 

“It’s clear from the report that Labour have learned nothing from the shambolic way they ran the 2024/25 budget process. We would urge the Executive to reflect on their comments to be more open and collaborative going forward.”

Link to Peer Review - https://democracy.york.gov.uk/documents/s176280/Annex%20A%20-%20City%20of%20York%20Council%202024%20Corporate%20Peer%20Challenge%20Report.pdf

This website uses cookies

Like most websites, this site uses cookies. Some are required to make it work, while others are used for statistical or marketing purposes. If you choose not to allow cookies some features may not be available, such as content from other websites. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the website to function properly.
Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.
Marketing cookies are used by third parties or publishers to display personalized advertisements. They do this by tracking visitors across websites.