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‘Significant’ overspends reported among five Gwynedd Council departments

Cyngor Gwynedd

‘SIGNIFICANT’ overspends have been reported among five Cyngor Gwynedd council departments this year.

But financial measures and a transfer of budgetary funds, if approved, look set to limit their impact.

The council will seek a decision to help over-spending departments receive financial assistance.

Its cabinet will be asked to approve a plan for areas over-spending to receive one-off financial assistance to limit the overspend that will be carried forward by the Department to £100k, when it meets on May 9.

The departments with the highest overspends include adults, health and well-being (£3.9m), children and supporting families; (£2.6m), highways, engineering & YGC; (£687k), the environment, (£1.2m), and housing and property, (£255k).

The council reported an overspend position of £9m by departments at the end of the year – but reduced by an underspend of £2.6m on corporate budgets giving a net overspend of £6.4m for the Council as a whole, a finance report noted.

The figures will go before the cabinet on Tuesday, May 14.

The cabinet will be asked to note the “significant” overspends and approve recommended ‘virements’ – the transfers of funds – including the one-off financial assistance payments.

Approval for amounts to be carried forward include adjustments of £3.8m for adult health and well being, £2.5m for children and families, £587k for highways, engineering and YGC, environment £1.1m, housing and property £155k.

Financial support of £308k above the contracted payment to Byw’n Iach (health and fitness) will also be recommended.
The report describes how by the end of the financial year, adults, health and well-being department had seen a reduction in its overspend to £3.9m – compared to £5.4m figure anticipated in a November review.

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The department received grants and income “which had helped” but “increasing pressures and expense” of supported accommodation in the Learning Disabilities Service had accounted for £1.8m of the overspend.

In domiciliary care, higher staffing costs and sickness levels and non-contact hours were also reported as “high”.

There was pressures on private care home providers as the council moved to “a new provision model” for older people services.

In housing and property, the report noted the trend of “significant pressure” on temporary accommodation homelessness services continued to be “very intense”.

The department had seen an overspend by £2m, despite an additional budget of £3m of council tax premium, and a grant of £597k from the Government, the report stated.

Also in the children and families department, since a November review, the department’s overspend had increased by £1.3 million to £2.6 million.

This was due to costs of out-of-county placements and “complexity of packages” and increasing costs of non-registered placements, the report noted.

“Pressures” were also felt in the budget, and in supporting plans and field workers, in the Derwen Service, which helps disabled children.
In education, the “trend of increasing pressures” on the school taxi and bus budget were “more prominent,” and an overspend of £1.5m was anticipated.

But staff turnover, income receipts and grants, as well as less pressure on other budgets, had reduced the departmental overspend to £95k, the report stated.

The department is now set to use £95k from its departmental underspend fund.

Highways, engineering and the YGC department saw an overspend of £687k as a result of “pressures” on road maintenance and lighting budgets and a reduction in the work being commissioned by external agencies had had a “negative impact” on highways income, the report said.

In municipal, “additional pressures” were felt on staff budgets and “loss of income” were factors impacting street and public toilets cleaning.

In the environment department a “trend of overspend” in the field of waste and recycling collection continues and was reported at £1.2m.

Parking incomes also saw a deficit of £601k. An underspend on public protection and transport network management, and use of an underspend fund, had reduced the departmental overspend reported at £1.2m.