Council finances improve
Powys County Council has reported a slight improvement in its financial position, as it looks to cut around £21 million from its budget.
Despite the improvement in the council's finances as a result of just over £1 million being found between the end of July and August, the authority is still facing an overspend.
The council’s projected overspend at the end of March 2020, is calculated to be £3.460 million.
This is down from the £4.623 million reported in July.
This figure is supposed to take into account the £11.628 million of savings/cuts that had been “achieved” by the council by August 31.
The total in budget cuts needed this year is £21.692 million, which includes cuts of more than £8 million in social services spending.
The situation means the council has just over £10 million which needs to be found at the half way stage of the financial year.
At the council cabinet meeting on Tuesday, finance portfolio holder, Councillor Aled Davies, said: “We’re half way through the year and there is a little bit of good news in that the forecast shows an improvement in the predicted overspend of £3.5 million pounds that’s down from the £4.6 million at the end of July.”
Councillor Davies said that the figures were going in the right direction except in the children’s services department where costs had increased by an extra £500,000.
This is due to an increase in the number of children being taken into care that had not been predicted.
Head of finance Jane Thomas added: “Although the out-turn for the current year is projected to be a balanced, but that does include a non-delivery of £3 million plus in of savings, which is absolutely critical to address otherwise this will leave a gap in our future budget plans.
“The recovery plan is critical to put us back in a balanced budget position and I’m confident that can be done.”
Ms Thomas added there would be more discussions with services to find more savings.
Council leader, Councillor Rosemarie Harris added: “August 31 seems a long time ago, we do have some months left of the financial year and hopefully the savings will come.
“I think we should thank staff for what they have done, we’ve all been under significant financial pressures.
“We’re quite often asking staff to cut jobs and services and they are tough pressures to have.”
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