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Telford & Wrekin Council 'needs to save another £33 million'

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | Politics | Published:

Another £33 million will need to be saved by Telford & Wrekin Council over the next three years as the authority predicts a "very uncertain" funding outlook.

However, the council's financial management report, which will be considered by the authority's cabinet tomorrow, states that it is in a "good position" with a "high degree of control".

The uncertainty around the council's funding stems from changes in the way the Government will provide money for councils over the next few years.

The report predicts that more than £30 million of savings will be required to balance the books over the next three years.

It states: "The funding outlook for the medium term is very uncertain with significant changes to the local government finance system due to be implemented from 2020/21, however it is currently anticipated that the council will need to identify a further £33 million savings over the next three years on top of the £110 million already delivered by the end of the current year.

"It is therefore essential that we continue to maintain our excellent track record in managing budgets and maximise the position in 2017/18 which will assist in future years."

The report shows that the amount of money collected by the council has increased compared to the previous year.

It states: "Overall, the amount of cash collected is higher than at the same point last year. In total £1.9 million more cash has been collected than at the same point last year."

The report makes clear that children's services and adult social care remain the biggest pressures on the authority's budget.

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It says that a total of £3.6 million will be put into the two services.

The costs in children's services relate to the amount needed to pay for children in care and social workers.

It states: "Children’s safeguarding & early help is a key pressure with an anticipated requirement for £3.3 million additional investment necessary this year which is an improvement of £0.1 million since the last report.

"The spend mainly relates to the cost of placements for looked after children and the cost of social workers.

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"A four-year model is in place which is designed to deliver efficiencies over the remainder of the year and medium term."

It adds that extra money is needed to pay for adult social care packages, although it is less than previously expected.

It states: "Current projections are that additional investment of £0.3 million, mainly relating to the purchase of care packages, will be required this year compared to the original budget. This is a significant improvement of £0.7 million compared to the previous report."

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