Section 25 statements provide crucial context

By Tracy Bingham | 03 March 2021
  • Tracy Bingham

As finance teams celebrate the approval of another year’s budget, I can’t help wonder what lies ahead. Will this year’s council spend and income estimates hold up? How will they compare to the accompanying Section 25 statements made by chief finance officers (CFOs)? Budgets haven’t stood the test of time in 2020-21 – maybe some were doomed even before 1 April.

I was recently invited to speak about my experiences of writing the annual statement at one of the medium-term financial strategy sessions run by Pixel and LG Improve. It’s a Local Government Act requirement for CFOs to report to members on the ‘robustness of budgetary estimates’ and ‘adequacy of reserves’ and the statement must accompany the budget when presented for approval. I bet I’m not the only one to admit I completed them on rote previously. But it was great to take a good look in the mirror, particularly with the experience of the last year under my belt!

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