Council halts non-urgent spending in bid to tackle ‘significant financial challenges’

Torbay Council has announced an immediate moratorium on spending as it tries to deal with financial trouble and a predicted £2.8m overspend at the end of March next year. 

The council-- which is controlled under the elected mayoral system, populated with six independent councillors, one UKIP, and one Conservative councillor-- said the main reason behind the spending cuts is a 20% increase in the number of children in its care since November last year.

All non-urgent spending will be blocked, meaning some public services will be stripped back or axed completely and the council will not be able to buy new vehicles, machinery or equipment.

The famous Torbay Airshow may also fall victim to the cuts.

Chief executive Steve Parrock claimed that the council has not “run out of money” or used its cash reserves, and that the moratorium has in fact been put in place to protect these reserves.

He added: “This means that even if an activity or contract is budgeted for, it may be postponed or cancelled if it isn’t urgent or required to meet our statutory duties.

“Every effort continues to be made to bring forward further efficiency savings and deliver our current transformation projects at pace.”

Parrock noted that Torbay Council, like other local authorities, continues to face “significant challenges” due to government funding cuts and increasing demands.

Northamptonshire County Council has been in the news this month for similar reasons after approving radical cuts to jobs and services as it tries to fight its way out of a section 144 spending ban. The local authority faces a budget shortfall of £70m, with the government sending commissioners to help run services back in April.

Top image: c. George Standen

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Cleaner, greener, safer media: Increased ROI, decreased carbon

23/06/2020Cleaner, greener, safer media: Increased ROI, decreased carbon

Evolution is crucial in any business and Public Sector Executive is no different. Long before Covid-19 even became a thought in the back of our minds, the team at PS... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar


August 2020

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

featured articles

View all News