Mid Suffolk praised by experts
A TEAM of government experts today praised Mid Suffolk council for its vision – but called for better management of its financial problems.The six-strong group spent a week scrutinising the operations of the cash-strapped council and are due to publish a report within the next six weeks.
A TEAM of government experts today praised Mid Suffolk council for its vision – but called for better management of its financial problems.
The six-strong group spent a week scrutinising the operations of the cash-strapped council and are due to publish a report within the next six weeks.
While applauding its "creativeness" in introducing change, it warned issues of "inadequate financial management" and "ineffective budget setting" need to be addressed.
The message comes after the Needham Market-based council warned it will have to review its budgets after a "disappointing" financial pay-out from central government.
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A budget deficit of £1million had already been identified for the next financial year and redundancies have not been ruled out as cuts swing into action.
The preliminary report also identified a "lack of commercial enterprise in some areas" and an "inappropriate application of reserves".
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Patrick Leonard, who led the review, said: "The council is facing a number of difficult challenges in the future and we will be providing recommendations about how we think these can be approached."
He praised the authority's work in the environment, regeneration and with vulnerable people – and called for these aspects to be promoted more.
He added: "The team appreciates the superb people working here. They are the backbone of the organisation. We found the council to be very self-aware. It recognises there are a number of important area where it needs to improve."
Roger Saunders, MBE, leader of the mid Suffolk authority, said: "The team has confirmed what we thought were the main issues and have provided focus and impetus to continue improving."
A full report of the review will be published in January and will form the basis of an improvement plan.