How we manage our budgets
Achieving better service delivery
The revenue budget and capital programme are our primary means to achieving better service delivery and should be viewed as part of an integrated approach to continuous service improvement.
Revenue expenditure funds the day-to-day provision and delivery of services and our own running costs. Main items of expenditure include salaries, the running costs of buildings and vehicles and maintenance of facilities like parks and roads.
Revenue expenditure also meets the cost of payments to suppliers where services have been contracted out as well as the costs related to the financing of capital spending.
Council Tax is collected on behalf of the Greater London Authority (GLA) and includes funding for the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.
Capital expenditure allows us to purchase large assets of benefit to the community over many years. The capital programme consists of the housing capital programme and the ‘other services capital programme (OSCP)’, the latter being all non-housing capital schemes. The Housing Investment Programme (HIP) includes spend on our own stock and grant spend to housing associations and homelessness schemes.
The OSCP includes spend on refurbishment of buildings (schools, libraries, administrative buildings), maintenance of highways and grant funded schemes such as children’s centres, new deal for schools, new nurseries initiative and single regeneration budget programmes.
The revenue budget strategy
We have a rolling five-year medium-term financial strategy. This enables us to ensure that budget plans are consistent with policy objectives and to take on board the longer term impact of decisions being made now.
We are continuing to refine a process which enables us to align service and budget planning using our performance management framework. In identifying the savings proposals for 2007/08, the Council introduced a multi-layer approach to securing efficiencies, which included directorate specific savings proposals, cross-cutting reviews and thematic service reviews.
The options for savings were considered and weighted against key policy priorities and impacts. Budget decisions taken in consideration of the Council’s priorities along with effective targets to work towards meeting each priority will help us to monitor progress.
The process for identifying and proposing areas for growth is linked to the Council’s policy framework through the Community Strategy and key service objectives. Growth proposals are tested against equality issues and impacts and linked to performance improvement, any relevant capital bids or areas for cross-directorate joint working.