The Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) closed its consultation on draft changes to the Prudential Code last month, following a preliminary consultation earlier this year. The code governs how much councils can borrow to invest and what forms of commercial activity they are permitted to pursue.
The Local Government Association’s response to the changes reflected “concern” among some local authorities that their borrowing-based spending power might be curtailed. However it appears that two thirds of consultation respondents supported the proposed new wording without amendment.
No wonder Exeter City Council recently rushed through a decision, taken in private, to create a £55 million property purchase budget without giving the legally-required notice.