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Council need to find £7.7m in savings for this year

Created on 18/09/2018 @ 00:06
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To balance the books, it looks likely that Powys County Council will be forced to dip into its piggy bank.

Savings of over £7.7million have to be found for the rest of the financial year.

A report for PCC’s Cabinet meeting is expected to explain that money from reserves will be used as a measure to plug the financial black hole.

Finance Cabinet member, Cllr Aled Davies, said: “The revenue expenditure outturn against budget is projected to be £4.9million over budget, this is based on savings achieved to date but also reflects assurance that further savings will be achieved.”

Savings of £4.588 million have been found so far which is  37 per cent of the total £12.296million required.

Cllr Davies, added:  “It is important to note that efficiency savings will be accounted for when they have been delivered and we maintain this approach to ensure a prudent position.”

“The revenue reserves held at the beginning of the year totalled £40.3million with £9.7million held in the General Reserve and Specific and ring-fenced reserves of £27.4million.

“The planned use of reserves to support the overall revenue budget during the year excluding School and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is £9.9million.”

Cllr Davies, added: “Based on the projections the overspend position would be financed from the general fund reserve, with the assurance around the delivery of savings the impact of the general fund would be £4.860million.”

A number of services have been flagged up as RED, meaning that they are at a critical risk of not balancing their books,

One of the services that is having an impact of the budget is Children’s Services, with its budget now expected to go over £5.276million by a further £1.375million.

The report says that many posts in the department are still being covered by agency staff at a higher cost if this continues it would add nearly an extra £1million  to its budget.

A projected overspend of over £2million is also expected in the Highways, Transport and 
Recycling Departments.

This is being partly blamed on the continual rise of fuel costs.

Changes to the way Council Tax has been collected where a premium of 50 per cent has been charged on properties that are periodically occupied, ie holiday homes/second homes and long-term empty properties is supposed to have collected an extra £700,000 for Central Activities.

It had been thought that the changes would make £1million for the department, which is now projected to end the financial year £1.3million over budget.

Head of Financial Services, Jane Thomas said: “The position projected at the end of July reports a higher level of projected expenditure than that reported for June and although some assurance has been provided that savings for some directorates will be delivered the overall positions remains in an overspend position.”

Photo: Cllr Aled Davies

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