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Wiltshire Council budgets in disarray

December 4, 2018 1:57 PM

A report to next week's WC cabinet reveals the council is spending over £2million more than budgeted. The figures would have been much worse were it not for an increase of £7million in government grants. Against that many of the increased costs are associated with government policy.

There are overspends in adult and childrens' social care. These include spend on agency workers because WC is unable to recruit enough social workers. The overspend on childrens' services is caused by the sheer number of young people coming into the system. More children are being looked after by the council, more have child protection plans, and the number of children in need in the county has shot up from 1,975 in August 2018 to 3,269 now.

Other problem areas include:

Libraries, Heritage & Arts - overspend of £1.262 due to savings not being achieved.

Rubbish, £3.965 overspend due to incompetent forecasting.

Street lighting - overspend of £0.900 due to energy costs.

Car parking - overspend of £0.450 million.

Although schools are budgeted separately there is also an overspend there of £4.125 million, due mainly to the special needs education requirement.

WC has reacted by taking money out of reserves to cover expenditure. This means that the level of reserves is seen as dangerously low.

Cabinet report see item 9