Wirral Council overspent its budget by £4.327 million in first three months of this financial year!
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In an extremely short seven minute long public meeting of Wirral Council’s Cabinet on Monday morning held at the slightly earlier time of 9.30 am, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources (Cllr Janette Williamson) was not present so Leader of the Council Cllr Pat Hackett gave a verbal summary of the written financial report in her absence.
The written report explained that at the end of quarter 1 (which covers the period April 2019 to June 2019) that Wirral Council is projected to overspend its planned budget by £4.327 million.
More than half of the projected budget overspend (which resulted in a forecast of a £2.5 million overspend by year end) the report explained was because the average residential placement costs for looked after children were underestimated by 17% when the budget had been prepared and agreed by councillors earlier this year.
The current demand on special education needs services in the Schools Budget is greater than the grant funding available meaning to pay for it the ring-fenced Dedicated Schools Grant of £2.3 million was being used.
The Safer Wirral Hub was predicted to underachieve its income target by the end of the year by £220,000 due to the loss of clients such as Magenta Housing and schools converting to academies.
Car parking income was expected to fall short of expectations by £300,000 and the loss of income from fixed penalty notices following the termination of the Kingdom contract earlier this year was also mentioned in the report.
Cabinet noted the report and made some minor recommendations to a public meeting of all councillors regarding changes to the capital part of the budget (for clarity the projected overspend was in the revenue part of Wirral Council’s budget).
Budgetary matters are the responsibility of all 66 of Wirral Council’s councillors.
Wirral Council have also failed to publish its final audited accounts for the previous 2018-19 financial year by the legal deadline of 31st July 2019.