Council managing budget despite pressures but faces uncertain future
The latest report to the Council’s Cabinet shows that despite continuing financial pressures for the two key areas of children’s safeguarding and adult social care, which continue to overspend, the Council expects to end the year within its overall budget.
Like many other councils, Telford & Wrekin faces challenges over the costs of placements for looked after children and care packages for adults.
The report however says there are plans in place to address both these pressures and updates the Council’s outlook at the halfway point through the financial year.
It says the Council expects to end the year in budget, with £2.2 million available in contingencies from its total net revenue budget of £121 million.
The report says that while there is some better shorter term news from the Government’s spending announcements, this will apply to next year only and very considerable uncertainty remains beyond next year.
The report also details a provision of £650,000 from contingencies for costs of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation which is now underway.
In addition the Council has received a one off Government grant for £315,000 to help it prepare for Brexit and cope with extra demands caused by Brexit on council services such as dealing with regulatory services for example for import and export licences for businesses.
Cllr Lee Carter said; “We continue with our careful approach which we expect to see us finish the year again in budget, while having the lowest council tax in the region.
“However in the longer term we do not expect any let up in the pressure on our finances as demand for key services continues to grow, particularly as our population here ages, placing greater demands on our services such as adult social care.
“We have very little information from Government on how its planned changes to the national funding system for councils will affect us from April 2021, but based on the information we do have, we do not currently see an end to austerity for councils like ours any time soon and more very difficult decisions therefore inevitably lie ahead.”