Hertfordshire County Council predicting £1.88m overspend by end of 2021/22

The latest financial position was reported to a meeting of the council’s resources and performance cabinet panel

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 8:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 8:52 am

Hertfordshire County Council expects to overspend by £1.88m by the end of 2021/22, latest estimates suggest.

This year the council has set a £866m budget – for services that include social care, highways, waste disposal and the fire service.

And the latest financial position – based on data from the end of ‘quarter one’ of the 2021/22 financial year – was reported to a meeting of the council’s resources and performance cabinet panel on Friday, October 1.

Hertfordshire County Council

It estimates that by the end of the financial year, in March 2022, there will be a £1.88m overspend.

That, councillors were told, primarily reflects increased costs around children’s services – and at that level could be met by the council’s ‘contingency’ budget.

But according to the report this initial position must be viewed ‘with a degree of caution’, pointing to the uncertainties related to the pandemic.

Assistant director for finance Steven Pilsworth told councillors the position was characterised by ‘huge uncertainty’.

And he said it remained difficult to forecast demand across some of the council’s key services, including adult children and waste.

Meanwhile, the report also estimates that additional costs related to Covid-19 are forecast to be £42.8m. But those costs, says the report, will be met from the council’s ‘Covid-19 emergency funding.

Labour councillor Cllr Sharon Taylor said that the uncertainty was ‘extremely worrying’, but that they would understand the reasons why that would be the case.