A new finance report is shining a light on the growing pressures affecting a wide range of council services.
The rising cost of placements and transport for young people, challenges recruiting social workers and increased fees for care providers are some of the areas highlighted in the document published by Leicestershire County Council.
It shows that the authority – which has an annual budget of £380m – recorded an overspend in the last financial year of just over £3m which is already factored into future budget plans.
Every day, we provide a vast number of services, ranging from social care to waste disposal, and this report underlines the breadth as well as our sound financial planning.Person:Councillor Byron Rhodes, cabinet member for finance
The report is a useful reminder that the demand pressures that existed before the coronavirus crisis haven’t gone away. In particular, the impact of special educational needs and disability reform and there is growing national concern about the financial difficulties this places on councils.
The coronavirus crisis is exacerbating problems. But, thanks to taking tough decisions early on, we went into this in good shape. We’re under pressure but not at risk of being unable to balance the books – the position for some is much more severe. The crisis offers an opportunity to put the whole of local government on a much sounder financial footing and to recognise that much of the structure of local government is unsustainable.
The report covers 2019/20 and will be reviewed by external auditors – it will be discussed by the council’s Scrutiny Commission next Monday (22 June) and Cabinet next Tuesday (23 June).
Watch the meetings online.