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Suffolk council reveals £9m overspend with ‘tough calls to make’ in coming weeks

Suffolk County Council has revealed a projected overspend of £8.6m this year as the scale of their financial challenges are revealed.

The overspend is mainly down to an increasing cost and rising demand for children and young people’s services, accounting for almost £5m of the projected deficit.

Based on spending on council services in the first quarter of the 2018/19 financial year the county council is forecast to overspend its £501m budget by 1.7% unless the council manages to successfully reduce spending.

Cllr Richard Smith, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet member for finance and assets said: “I think most people have some awareness that local councils are facing enormous financial challenges, but it’s figures like these that bring the scale of the issue into sharp focus.

“We have seen Northamptonshire County Council effectively go bust in recent months. I want to reassure people that Suffolk is not in that position, but that does not mean we can be complacent either.

“There are going to be some tough calls to make in the weeks and months ahead, but they are calls we are going to have to make to keep Suffolk County Council within budget. At all times we will work to protect the most vulnerable people that rely on us for support and care.”

Work to reduce spending includes cutting underspending budgets in the children and young people department and a host of reviews and optimisations within Suffolk Fire and Rescue, and community services and transport.

Recently it was reported that local authorities across England were struggling to meet the “escalating demand” from children’s services.

The County Councils Network released figures revealing that councils in England had overspent by a massive £816m in order to protect vulnerable children in the last financial year.

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Image Credit - elmvilla


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