WOULD you believe it was only last week that the World Economic Forum, the annual trade fair for capitalism with its seemingly-penitent politicians in hair-shirts and its photogenic protesters bare-breasted, took over the sleepy Swiss town of Davos?
Just over a week since President Obama’s election-year State of the Union address, with its promise of ‘no bail-outs, no handouts, and no cop-outs’ and the now-obligatory soaring oratory?
Was it only last week we learned that the UK’s GDP ‘grew’ by -0.2% in the last quarter of calendar 2011?
A week is – in fact – a heck of a long time…
In just under a week’s time the City of Edinburgh Council will consider its annual budget for fiscal 2012-13. At its budget meeting on Thursday 9th February the Council considers its Revenue budget, Capital Investment Programme and Housing Revenue Account – including consideration of Proposals to Grant Fund services from Third Parties.
Services from Third Parties extend beyond grants to Third Sector organisations. Having said that, the city’s Third Sector will be keenly interested in proposals that could impact on their organisations and the services they provide.
The total Grant Allocation under this heading in 2011-12 was £ 24,510,199, falling to £20,014,054 for financial 2012-13.
Grant Recommendations have been analysed in terms of which National Outcomes they mainly support. This analysis shows a diminishing spread across outcomes as the level of grant support increases, with National Outcome 6 (We live longer, healthier lives) being the outcome most often quoted (followed by National Outcome 4 – Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.)
Elsewhere on the agenda, considering ‘Performance and Outcomes,’ the Council estimates that for every £1 spent on revenue grant, the grant-funded organisations levered in an additional £9.05 in financial 2010-11.
Readers will have noticed the surprise good news that the City of Edinburgh Council has managed to find £2m for a range of projects from repairing potholes to enabling young people to access music tuition.
The process the Council undertakes to agree its overall budget remains, however, adversarial and oppositional – with the administration presenting its budget and opposition parties presenting theirs as amendments to the administration’s budget motion. This year the Labour party has published its intended proposals in advance, challenging other parties to do the same.
In previous years the wrangling has continued right up to the wire – might this year be different?
After all – a week’s a long, long time….