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Powys predicts being £620k in the black

Created on 14/02/2020 @ 12:01
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Good news for Powys County Council (PCC) as it’s predicted that the 2019/20 budget will end up being £620,000 in the black.

For this financial year a total budget saving of £21.692m was needed, and by the end of December savings of £14.58m had been made, an increase of £1million from November.

Head of Finance, Jane Thomas, took cabinet members through the report at their meeting on Tuesday, February 11.

Ms Thomas explained: “The report presents the forecast out-turn for 2019/20 and at December 31, 2019. At that point the position does show an improved position than what was being projected at the end of November.

“It’s now projected that a £570,000 overspend by year end, but that is based on no further cost reductions being delivered.

“The improved position does reflect that there have been additional savings, with £14.580,000 achieved by the end of December.

“Further delivery of savings was expected and that will actually move us from an overspend position to that of a surplus.

“That is anticipated at year end (March 31) to be around £620,000 and we’ll have a balanced budget.

“Of course the position remains dependent on what happens during the next couple of months.

“We’re particularly mindful of the pressures in Adult Social Care and our Highways Services and that will be dependent on weather conditions.”

Ms Thomas explained that “significant underspend” against financial borrowing to support building projects was offsetting overspent budgets in other part of the council.

Ms Thomas added: “These delays are not a position that’s going to continue so, although it helps our position in one year, it’s essential that we re-align our budgets for the coming financial year so we start from a balanced position.

“There are further savings to be delivered but it is unlikely that we are going to see around £5million not achieved by the end of the year.

“Again this is something that needs to be considered as part of next year’s budget proposal.”

Council leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, said: “I’m pleased to see the delivery of additional savings. We have asked a lot of our services in very difficult times over the last 10 years of austerity.

“We still have a month and a half to go so hopefully they will achieve what we hope.”

The updated financial position was noted and approved by cabinet.

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