Setting the rates
It's the time of year when Councils set the rate for the incoming financial year. For press, public and indeed many councillors the percentage increase or decrease is the defining issue. For some councillors their interest in the process begins and ends with that figure. For others the process represents the budget setting process for the next year and in Mid and East Antrim that represents just under £60 million of expenditure. Any budget process must answer fundamental questions, what are we committing resources to, why are we committing resources and what do we intend to achieve? Does our use of ratepayers' money represent good value and contribute to improving their quality of life? Over the next few weeks I hope to get the answers to these and many other questions to give me the confidence that council is focused on the right issues.