Blackpool Skyline

Lancashire County Council Reports a Smaller-Than-Forecast Overspend

Lancashire County Council has reported a smaller-than-forecast overspend for the last financial year, thanks to strong financial management and a focus on value for money.

At the end of Quarter 1 last year, the council was forecast to have an overspend of £17.7 million. However, the final reported figure was just £0.75 million, less than 0.1% of the approved budget of £948.107 million.

The council's Cabinet was told that the overspend was mitigated by a number of factors, including grant funding, non-recurrent income settlements, and delivery of previously agreed savings.

The areas where the most significant underspends and overspends occurred were:

  • Adult Services: £7.5 million underspend due to additional income from health contributions in the form of one-off incomes.
  • Treasury Management: £7.4 million underspend principally due to the sale of gilts and bonds.
  • Children's Social Care: £13.7 million overspend due to higher than budgeted placement costs and extra cost of agency staff.
  • Public and Integrated Transport: £5 million overspend due to higher school transport costs.
Lancashire Flag

Cllr Alan Vincent, deputy leader of the County Council, said: "It is very pleasing that we are now £17 million better off than we though we were going to be this time last year. This is very much down to our hard working staff who are dedicated to delivering the best services possible at the best value for money."

However, Cllr Vincent also warned that the council faces significant challenges in the future, including the rising cost of living, inflation, and the ongoing negotiations on the local government pay award.

"All of these areas will remain under detailed review and we will focus all our efforts on balancing the books to keep services running both efficiently and effectively, whilst keeping spending under control in these difficult financial times," he said.

The council's financial performance is being closely watched by other local authorities, as they face similar challenges. The council's success in managing its finances is a testament to the hard work and dedication of its staff, and it provides a valuable case study for other councils.

Image credit: iStock

PSE August/September 2023

PSE August/September 2023

London mayor assisting with creative COVID recovery

Our  August/September 2023 edition of PSE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key public sector topics, from EV infrastructure to Digital transformation and reducing carbon emissions.


Learn how the role of local government in leading the data revolution or read all about the Manchesters landmark housing scheme, alongside so much more…


View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Events

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Virtual Events

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 


Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.


See our full events calendar and register now! 

Public Sector Executive Podcast

Ep. 44
LGBT in the workplace
with Carl Austin Behan

In episode 44 of the Public Sector Executive Podcast, host Dan Benn was joined by former Lord Mayor of Manchester, Carl Austin-Behan OBE. Carl spoke about everything ranging from his time in the RAF, being Manchester’s first openly gay Lord Mayor, and the important work he does now, with the LGBT Foundation.

More articles...

View all