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Reserves plundered as council overspends

December 13, 2012 3:46 PM

Pile of money - 1Wiltshire Council is having to dip into its reserves to cover a £2million overspend, according to the latest monitoring report for the WC cabinet. The main escalation of costs is in Children's Services - a disastrous Ofsted report caused expenditure of half a million in an attempt to address the failures, and an increase in the number of children being taken into care is also hitting budgets. The cabinet is being recommended to take £1,700,000 from reserves to pay for the deficits.

There are also overspends in Adult Social Care, Children's Social Care, and Passenger Transport. Car parking budgets are in deficit following the increase in charges which has driven users away, and Urchfont Manor cost an extra £48,000 as income dropped in the run-up to the closure. The "transformation programme", which includes the work to County Hall, overspent by £178,000. Waste services report an overspend of £180,000.

There are compensatory underspends in many departments, but these are almost invariably caused by keeping vacancies open, which may be hitting the quality of work done by the council.

For the full report see the cabinet agenda page 87.