Covid revenue loss impacting Calderdale council budget finances
The Calderdale Board Strategy and Performance Review Committee received an update on the Board’s financial condition.
CFO Nigel Broadbent said the board had a £ 9.5million overrun, of which £ 5.2million came from the pandemic effect and funding for this had been set aside for this purpose.
Of the remaining amount, and taking into account £ 1.1million in additional government social care grants, department heads were confident they could reduce it further to £ 1.5million by the end of the council hearing next April.
Budget challenge meetings involving CEOs and Cabinet members were aimed at reducing that figure to as close to zero as possible, Broadbent said.
The biggest budget pressures remain things beyond its control, such as packages for disabled customers of all ages, childcare fees, and transportation requirements for children with special needs and disabilities, for example. .
Councilor Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden) said she was concerned that the council was not receiving the income it used to come from sources that had been affected by the pandemic and the resulting behavior change. , leaving the board to the challenges.
“Some of these issues are going to be irreconcilable – is modeling going on or number calculations? ” she said.
Mr Broadbent said issues like this should be taken into account as part of the council’s medium-term financial strategy that is coming soon and that it should be taken into account, for example, that income parking spaces were not going to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Currently, that was 60% of pre-pandemic levels and could reach 80% next year.
Budget challenges are expected to solve the problem, for example if fees were to be increased, different fees examined, or alternative savings found elsewhere, he said.
Cabinet Member for Resources Councilor Silvia Dacre (Lab, Todmorden) reminded members that parking fee increases, on which no decision has yet been made, can only be used in relation to highways .
Board chairman Councilor Ashley Evans (Lib Dem, Warley) wanted to know if the savings agreed in previous years were being realized.
Mr Broadbent said some would not appear right away – Director of Adult Services and Welfare Iain Baines was confident that any savings that could be made on social care would be realized, for example, but would not be seen this year.
Councilor Evans said early interventions were of crucial importance in achieving savings in all directions, because if they were not achieved it meant increased spending across the board.
Mr Broadbent said the council had tried to ensure that the resources it had were allocated to this “front-end”.
Councilor Steven Leigh (Con, Ryburn) reminded councilors that available general reserves have fallen to £ 5million, a figure they cannot fall below.
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