Herts County Council now forecasting overspend of £15.7m by the end of this financial year - a whopping increase of £2.3m

By Deborah Price - Local Democracy Reporter

10th Feb 2024 | Local News

The estimate has now increased by £2.3m compared to previous figures. PICTURE: City Hall. CREDIT: Herts County Council
The estimate has now increased by £2.3m compared to previous figures. PICTURE: City Hall. CREDIT: Herts County Council

Finance chiefs at Hertfordshire County Council are forecasting an overspend of £15.7m by the end of the financial year (2023-24) - an increase of £2.3m from previous estimates.

Officers had previously been forecasting an overspend of £13.4m by the end of 2023/24.

But on Thursday (February 8) the council's resources and performance cabinet panel were told that that estimate had now increased by £2.3m.

Increasing demand for services and escalating costs teamed with the impact of inflation are said to have had an impact on council spending.

And cost-saving measures brought in earlier this year – including a freeze on recruitment to all non-essential posts – have not been sufficient.

According to a report presented to councillors, over the three months between the end of September and the end of December children service's spending increased by £2.8m and adult care services by £1.3m.

And that means that over the course of the full financial year children's services are now expected to have overspent their £233m budget by almost £19m.

Overall the county council has an annual revenue budget that is just over £1bn.

Meanwhile it was also reported to the panel that schools' budgets were now forecast to overspend by £7.3m – with an overspend of £10.3m forecast on the High Needs lock, which provides SEND support.

     

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