Projections show Council within budget for current financial year
Telford & Wrekin Council is expected to be within budget this financial year, a turnaround on the position reported in the summer, which showed an overspend of £0.5m, according to a report to cabinet.
The Council has a long track record of tight financial management and, despite the extreme pressures caused by successive Government cuts; it is taking action to deliver planned savings in order to offset additional spending in some services, particularly Adult Social Care.
In total, the Council expects to not have to use £2.7 million contingencies which would be available to help cushion the effects of the deep cuts required the following year.
This improvement is a reflection of the strength of the Council’s financial management, which includes savings across Council departments being delivered earlier than expected and benefits from effective treasury management.
These are helping the Council with the continued budget pressures it faces as it strives to make a further £22m in cuts over the period April 2014 – March 2016, on top of the £53m it has already cut since 2009.
Adult Social Services and Children in Care Placements remain particular budget pressure areas but service reviews, currently in progress, are aiming to reduce overspends in these areas.
Cllr Bill McClements, cabinet member for finance and enterprise, said: “Against the background of the biggest cuts we have ever had to make, it is testament to the hard work of cabinet members and officers at the Council that we’re on course to be within our budget and at the same time we hope to be able to build up some one off funding that will allow us to phase in more slowly some of the cuts into adult social care.
“The real challenge will come in the three years, by which time we expect to have had to cut over £100m from our annual budget – equivalent to us spending £1,400 a year less on services for every household in the borough.
“The least painful cuts have all been made and the next ones will be much harder for both the Council and our local residents.”
The report will be considered by the Council’s cabinet when it meets on 16 October 2014.