Hertfordshire County Council now forecasting financial overspend of £15.7m

Increased demand for services and rising costs have been named as factors
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Finance chiefs at Hertfordshire County Council are forecasting an overspend of £15.7m by the end of the financial year (23/24).

Officers had previously been forecasting an overspend of £13.4m by the end of 2023/24.

But on Thursday (February 8) the council’s resources and performance cabinet panel were told that that estimate had now increased by £2.3m.

Hertfordshire County CouncilHertfordshire County Council
Hertfordshire County Council

Increasing demand for services and escalating costs teamed with the impact of inflation are said to have had an impact on council spending.

And cost-saving measures brought in earlier this year – including a freeze on recruitment to all non-essential posts – have not been sufficient.

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According to a report presented to councillors, over the three months between the end of September and the end of December children service’s spending increased by £2.8m and adult care services by £1.3m.

And that means that over the course of the full financial year children’s services are now expected to have overspent their £233m budget by almost £19m.

Overall the county council has an annual revenue budget that is just over £1bn.

Meanwhile it was also reported to the panel that schools’ budgets were now forecast to overspend by £7.3m – with an overspend of £10.3m forecast on the High Needs lock, which provides SEND support.