Task and Finish Forum Budget Scrutiny – suspicion about inadequate resources and Local Plan

Highlights:

(4) that there should be greater transparency in the Council financial information (including the Budget and Outturn report) in detailing the use and costs in obtaining external legal services and external consultancy services;

(5) that consideration be given to increasing the resources, possibly in conjunction with neighbouring authorities, for the further development of a coherent strategy and plan for the maintenance and improvement of the economic well-being of the district. (There was a suspicion that inadequate resources devoted to this activity had, amongst other things actually contributed to extra costs and delay in the production of a convincing local plan)

(7) That an annual audit review of the cost and effectiveness of external consultants is undertaken.

…As regards the wider matters of economic development, the budget has clearly been reduced considerably over the years, particularly on tourism promotion, which is now confined purely to the premises costs of some tourist information centres.

http://new.eastdevon.gov.uk/media/723185/bstafff-scnd-rpt-jan-2015.pdf