Wiltshire Council budgets still awry
By Trevor Carbin
Wiltshire Council is still being hit hard as a result of its own miscalculations over car parking charges, with a report to next week's 'cabinet' revealing that there is a one and a half million pound shortfall on the latest budget estimates.
The biggest overspends are on adult care services (£1m) and car parking (£1.65m). The former represents increased expenditure and the latter reduced income when compared with the original budgets. WC officers have admitted that their assumption that doubling car parking charges would automatically double income was wrong. Other significant overspends include Highways(£810,000), leisure (£265,000), and the council's 'transformation' process (£350,000). Mistakes with waste collection have cost a further £190,000. Schools becoming academies and choosing not to purchase council services has generated another £100,000 loss.
There have also been some savings: cuts to youth services have resulted in a budget surplus of £154,000, and the Salisbury Park and Ride is £300,000 in the black when a tax rebate is included.
Reserves are likely to be slashed in the current financial year from £14m to £11.5m - a rate of progress which would see them used up by 2016.