Northampton Borough Council is to postpone its Cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday, 13 December, for a week.
Without this postponement, it is possible that the council would publish its draft budget ahead of the scheduled meeting only to have to amend it in light of the Government’s local authority settlement announcement.
No date has yet been confirmed for that announcement but it is expected to be toward the end of the week commencing 11 December.
The new date for the Cabinet meeting is Wednesday, 20 December, and in order that the statutory eight-week consultation can be accommodated, the budget-setting meeting will now take place on Wednesday, 21 February.
Cllr Brandon Eldred, Cabinet member for finance, said: “Our approach to financial planning includes the formulation of a medium-term strategy to ensure that we limit the likelihood of nasty surprises down the road.
“This requires us to be absolutely clear on this year’s budget as it has a knock-on impact for the following four years.
“As a result we’ve chosen to postpone our preliminary budget meeting for a week, giving us the best chance of certainty over how much funding will be provided by Government.
“We still plan to make the draft budget papers public before our meeting.”
Papers are usually published seven clear working days before the meeting, which would put the target date at Tuesday, 12 December, but as the settlement is not likely to be announced until later that week, the council needs an opportunity to consider its implications.