Draft Strategic Plan 2014-17 and Budget 2014-15

27 November 2013

Please let us have your views on two documents that have very significant implications for the work of the Bar Council over the next few years.

The draft Strategic Plan sets out the Bar Council's proposed direction of travel for the next three years, setting clear aims and objectives. It builds on the last Strategic Plan which covered the period 2011-14.

The new Plan will shape the work of the Bar Council to help ensure that the justice system continues to develop, that the Bar as a whole continues to thrive, and that individual barristers have the help and support they need. We want to raise our game, to be more effective and efficient.

The draft Budget for 2014-15 is the first step along the way. We have developed it in parallel with the draft Strategic Plan. The headlines are:

  • There will be no cash increase in the Practising Certificate Fee (PCF) next year; the sum to be raised from the PCF has been held flat

  • We have included a realistic contingency to deal with in-year financial risks

  • We are building back reserves consistent with a prudent reserves policy and to help meet know future challenges

  • We are investing in developing our staff and systems, and

  • We have achieved all this by cutting operational expenditure, and the cost of our accommodation through more efficient use of space.

In light of responses to this consultation we will be refining our detailed business plans for 2014-15, within the control totals we are now proposing.

The Bar Council has agreed a new basis for charging the PCF based largely in income, following extensive consultation with the profession. The new arrangements will come into effect for 2015-16, so the methodology will be unchanged for 2014-16. We will issue guidance in due course on the details of the new arrangements.

Please send any comments to David Botha (DBotha@BarCouncil.org.uk) by 17:00 on Friday 13 December 2013.