Friday, September 14, 2018
The latest report into the financial position at Lancashire County Council has shown that a slight revenue overspend is forecast for this financial year.
Members of the Cabinet were told yesterday that a revenue overspend of £2.680m, equivalent to 0.35 per cent of the net revenue budget of £764.641m, was forecast.
However this figure is expected to reduce by the end of the financial year, with the areas reporting a possible overspend being reminded of the importance of achieving a balanced budget by next April.
At present no formal additional spending controls have been put in place, but this will be reviewed in future months if the forecast position does not show improvement.
The report also shows the 4-year Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) funding gap has moved from the £144m previously reported to £135m by 2022/23.
This is primarily a result of savings delivered due to a change in Minimum Revenue Provision policy, an improved council taxbase and a better collection fund position.
The impact in 2019/20 is a reduction in the previously reported forecast gap in 2019/20 from c£68m to £60m and in 2020/21 from c£118m to c£110m.
As previously reported, the authority has already delivered £200m of savings over the last three years, with a further £130m agreed for delivery over the next four years.
In addition more savings are being sought to ensure a balanced budget can be set by 2020/21, without the need to rely on reserves.
Councillor Geoff Driver CBE, leader of the county council, said: "Like all councils we are facing significant financial pressures, and we are continuing to work hard to ensure we can achieve a financially sustainable position.
"Our priority remains providing the best service possible to the people of Lancashire, particularly our older residents and children in need of our support and protection, but we do need to cut our cloth appropriately.
"We have been in a fortunate position that we have had a very healthy reserve pot of money to draw upon in recent years.
"However we cannot continue to rely on our reserves, which while still healthy are dwindling.
"Our aim is to achieve a balanced budget by 2020/21 and a great deal of work is taking place to identify savings across the board.
"There is also careful monitoring of day to day spending to help ensure our savings programme remains on track."
For more information on the Money Matters report discussed by Cabinet visit http://council.lancashire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=122&MId=7452