Council facing overspend of £3.4m for current financial year

Denbighshire County Council faces an overspend of around £3.4m for the current financial year.

At a meeting at Ruthin ’s County Hall today, cabinet members were presented with a report detailing the council’s net budget of £250.793m for 2023/24 – as well as the forecasted overspend to date.

The report also detailed how Denbighshire has made savings and efficiencies of £8.172m for the current financial year.

This latest report on the current financial year follows last week’s revelation from a leaked email, revealing the council faces bankruptcy and a £26m black hole next year (2024/25) – unless it takes serious action.

But today’s report predicts the service and corporate budgets for the current year will overspend by £3.446m, a figure forecasted at £3.119m last month.

The increase is blamed on pressures within social care, housing, and environment budgets.

Whilst the report said the council’s budget mitigation reserves can cover the overspend in the current year, that would reduce the resources available in future years when times are expected to be even tougher.

Consequently, the report stated services needed to review all expenditure and income to mitigate the overspend.

Leader Cllr Jason McLellan said difficult decisions will have to be made.

“The budget is the most pressing issue that we face,” he said.

“We’re all working hard on this. We’ll be working hard on this budget facing difficult decisions.”

Cllr McLellan referred to him admitting last week the authority will avoid bankruptcy by reducing council staff, cutting services, and charging extra for others.

The cabinet also approved the installation of new salt storage facilities at Kinmel Park depot in Bodelwyddan and the use of the capital programme contingency to fund an overspend on the Nant Clwyd Y Dre Lord’s Garden Wall repairs scheme.

Written by Richard Evans, LDRS Reporter

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