County council will overspend by significantly less than £7 million

PUBLISHED: 09:58 25 November 2019

The council might need to overspend by £7 million. Picture: Pixabay.

The council might need to overspend by £7 million. Picture: Pixabay.

Archant

Hertfordshire County Council is no longer heading for an overspend of £7 million by the end of the financial year.

The county council - whose services include schools, social services, highways, public health and waste - had a gross revenue budget of £975 million this year (2019/20).

But 'significant pressures' - particularly relating to the increasing costs of social care provision - mean the council is expected to overspend by the end of March.

The projected overspend has been reported to be as high as £7 million. And that figure had been published as part of the council's ongoing budget-setting consultation, 'Your Priorities', which has been running since September.

But now the council has amended its consultation document, because they believe the overspend will now be "significantly less".

They say the initial figure was based on figures from the first three months of the year (April to June).

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And although the figures for the next three months (July to September) won't be publicly available until December, they expect them to be significantly lower .

A spokesperson for the county council said a significant amount of work had been undertaken to reduce the projected overspend.

And she said an updated financial position would be reported to a meeting of the cabinet on December 16.

"The £7m refers to the county council's projected overspend for the current financial year (2019/20) and was correct at the time of publication," she said.

"In common with other local authorities, the county council is facing significant pressures, particularly around frontline social care services, however, it has a long track record of strong financial management.

"The county council reviews its position regularly to ensure it continues to provide essential frontline services to residents.

"An update of its latest financial position will be presented to cabinet in December 2019, reflecting a significant amount of work undertaken over recent months to reduce this forecasted overspend."

The buget planning survey is still on-going and will end on December 15. If you want to know more please go to: hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/consultations/council-budget/have-your-say-on-budget-spending.aspx.

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