Warrington Borough Council has announced that it is to begin talks with the Chartered Institute off Public Finance and Accountancy, following discussions surrounding the approach that the council has taken with the Levelling Up Department in the last year.
The council’s capital strategy will be the basis of discussions with CIPFA, as well as the level of risk that the approach may pose in the future. This includes the level of borrowing that the council has undertaken, alongside existing, detailed governance procedures and performance monitoring.
Capital investment decisions and priorities are explained by the council’s capital strategy, with this including the ways that the investments contribute to the effective running of council services.
The council’s borrowing relates to how the council have invested in infrastructure and property by way of supporting economic growth. This also includes the efforts that the council has undertaken in its mission to combat the climate emergency.
Cllr Cathy Mitchell, Deputy Leader of Warrington Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, said:
“For the past year, alongside other councils, we have had cordial discussions with government officials about our capital strategy and level of borrowing.
“As part of discussions so far, we have shared financial information and data about our approach. All of our investments are always supported by rigorous risk assessments and prudent business cases, with strong and detailed governance.
“Our investments support our net zero ambitions and our wider vision to make Warrington a great place to work, live and visit.
“During the last few years, for example, we have invested in Time Square, affordable housing, highways, Warrington Youth Zone and the refurbishment of Walton Hall, with Warrington also set to soon welcome the arrival of the all-electric ZEBRA bus fleet.
“We borrow to be able to invest in projects that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do due to government cuts, Many of our investments also directly generate income that we can use to fund vital services. It’s absolutely vital that we do everything we can to protect those services, which some of our most vulnerable people rely on.
“We therefore look forward to working with CIPFA and continuing discussions with government and showing how our approach is working for Warrington.”