Conservatives Demand Release of Council Accounts for 2021-2

At this week’s City of Colchester Council Scrutiny Panel and Cabinet meetings, Colchester Conservative Councillors demanded the immediate release of the overdue Accounts for the Financial year ending March 2022.

These accounts are essential to give Councillors a greater understanding and confidence of the challenges facing the Council’s finances in preparation for next year’s budget

Cllr Darius Laws, Conservative (Opposition) Group Leader said: “The City of Colchester Council, like everyone else, is suffering from huge financial pressure, particularly on staff pay. The initial budget proposals from the Liberal Democrat & Labour Coalition that controls the Council broadly consists of:

    - Increased direct costs, including staff pay, of £10.028 million, 

     -Other net increases of £0.864 million

  funded by:

    - Savings and increased charges for services of £4.661 million 

    - Drawing on Reserves of £6.231 million  

We welcomed the opportunity to have an input into the Administration’s future budget plans. But if we do not know the starting point, namely the Council’s Financial Accounts from 2021/2022, we cannot be sure that the budget is sound.

We note that Chelmsford, Braintree and Tendring Councils have all released their Accounts to March 2022.

Without sight of the Colchester Accounts and Balance Sheet we are uncertain of the extent of our balances and borrowing, we are therefore not able to make a comprehensive assessment of the Administration’s financial budget for 2023/2024, and if we do not have confidence that the budget is sound, we certainly cannot vote for its approval by Council.