Home » Bridgend Council could need to use reserves to pay off in-year overspend
Bridgend Politics South Wales

Bridgend Council could need to use reserves to pay off in-year overspend

Bridgend County Borough Council's Civic Offices on Angel Street in Bridgend (Pic: Bridgend County Borough Council)

BRIDGEND County Borough Council may need to use earmarked or general reserves in the coming months in order to pay off an in-year overspend.

A report which was given to members at a governance and audit committee meeting highlighted how there was currently expected to be a £10.9m overspend in the council’s budget for the 2023-24 financial year.

This comes after what was described as “unprecedented” financial pressures which have been faced by councils right across Wales with specific pressures in Bridgend said to be on the social services and wellbeing directorate as well as the home-to-school transport budget.

The report was given to the council’s governance and audit committee as part of talks on its annual “going concern” assessment, which underpins the preparation of the annual statement of accounts.

It read: “It is too early to advise on the out-turn for 2023-24 but based on in-year monitoring reports it is expected that the council will show an overspend in the current year.

“It is anticipated that there will be draw down from earmarked and /or general reserves and the closing balance of earmarked reserves is currently estimated to be around £75m, though this may be reduced dependent on the final revenue out-turn position.”

It added that the council’s budget will likely need to be monitored more closely moving forward as the ability to take funds from earmarked reserves and the council fund will be “extremely limited.”

Speaking at the meeting councillor Norah Clarke of Nottage asked officers if money was to be taken from earmarked reserves what would happen in areas the money was earmarked for.

Others questioned if there was anything that could be done in the future to enhance governance framework to prevent future overspending and ensure more accurate budget forecasts.

Officers responded by saying that they were always looking to improve and strengthen, adding that when it came to the expected overspend the authority would have to re-prioritise, balancing if settling the council’s budget for the previous year was more important than the original reason the reserves were set up.

online casinos UK

They also added that officers were currently finalising a report which will now be presented to members at both cabinet and full council before the summer recess.

Author