Key decisions

What is a 'key decision'?

The definition of a key decision is set out in Part 2, Article 13 'Decision Making' of the council's constitution which states:

A decision should be a Key Decision on financial grounds if it relates to any of the following:

i. Expenditure or savings proposal not included within approved capital or revenue budgets (including new schemes, external funding bids, increased spending on or transfers/virements between budgeted schemes):

    • Estimated at over £50,000 in total (gross), or
    • Where there are unbudgeted net revenue costs or other potential liabilities arising in current or future years.

 ii. Any other initiative that relates to or would result in potential savings of  over  £50,000 in any year, which are not provided for in the approved budget.

iii. The allocation of revenue or capital grants (receivable or payable) or any general budget allocations where their specific use or method of allocation has not previously been approved by Cabinet. This also covers any proposals to delegate such arrangements.

iv. The award of contracts over £50,000.

v. Proposals that involve taking on the role of Accountable Body for a particular initiative.

vi. The carry forward of under or overspends, irrespective of amount.

vii. Increasing future years’ spending forecasts in line with any flexibility authorised by Council, irrespective of amount.

viii. With the exception of the following which shall not be a Key Decision:

  • Transactions carried out as part of the efficient administration of the Council’s finances in line with Council policy and the Section 151 Officer’s functions, eg treasury management.
  • Subsequent allocation of grants (receivable or payable) within a framework and criteria previously agreed by Cabinet.
  • Setting of fees and charges levels, including concessions, within the approved Budget and Policy Framework.
  • Incurring expenditure essential to meet any immediate needs created by an emergency threatening life and limb or related to major structural damage threatening the fabric of a building [see Financial Procedures section A 1.11 (f)].

The Section 151 Officer will be responsible for the interpretation of the financial thresholds should the need arise.

A decision should be a Key Decision on community impact grounds if it would have a significant and lasting impact on one or more of the following:

  1. Reputation of the Council
  2. The environment
  3. The local economy
  4. Community safety
  5. Human rights, equal opportunities or racial equality

The Monitoring Officer will be responsible for the interpretation of the words significant and lasting in the community impact test.

The Plan does not, therefore, include:

  • Exempt or confidential information as defined in the Council’s Constitution Part 4 Section 2, 10.03 and 10.04;
  • Any reference to decisions made by the Council’s regulatory and other committees, ie:
    • Licensing
    • Planning and Highways
    • Appeals
    • Standards
    • Audit
    • Personnel
    • Appraisal
  • Any decisions made by Cabinet or delegated to Officers which are not defined as key decisions.

Last updated: 22 March 2016