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Wiltshire Council at panic stations over budget crash

November 9, 2016 5:18 PM

Just a few months into the financial year Wiltshire Council has announced an overspend of £8,300,000 on the revenue budget. Managers have been told to repair the damage before the end of the financial year. Should they not be able to do so then the council's dwinding reserves will have to be raided again.

According to a report which went to the WC 'cabinet' in September, the areas most seriously bungled by the Conservative administration are:

Children's Social Care - £1,800,000 overspent because of continued use of agency staff.

Special Educational Needs - £1,300,000 overspent due to lack of planning for placements.

Legal - £560,000 overspent due to lack of forward planning.

Capital Financing - £2,000,000 overspent due to financial mismanagement.

Something called 'Restructure and Contingency', which claims to be performing a 'range of corporate and cross-cutting savings', has despite this noble remit created an actual deficit of £2,150,000.

For details see the cabinet report - agenda.

Apart from advising the cabinet to do something about the chaotic financial situation, the report provides no detail on how that's to be done.

The council has though introduced panic measures in an attempt to get a grip, as since September the situation has got worse with the deficit running to £10million. Managers have been ordered to slash budgets, staff payment cards have been withdrawn, a hundred staff have had their ability to authorise spend taken away, vacant posts will lie unfilled, and people who work from home won't be allowed to use their printers.