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  • Writer's pictureDan Heley

Council’s budget pressures sees belts tightened further still

North Somerset Council is facing unprecedented pressure to reach the end of the financial year with balanced books. The increasing costs of care, especially for vulnerable children, means that the council is currently forecasting that expenditure will exceed the available budget by £2.3 million. This is despite bringing in a number of measures already to reduce the budget gap.

North Somset Council said "Colleagues from across the organisation have worked collectively and collaboratively to do all they can, but due to the increasing costs of care, especially for vulnerable children, measures so far are not proving to be enough."

Cllr Mike Bell, Leader of the Council, said “We have a strong track record of delivering budget savings but are now in the position where our unfunded pressures are restricting our ability to deliver essential council services.

“We are legally required to balance our budget at the end of the year and we are committed to doing that. However, to achieve this in the current challenging circumstances we are now introducing more immediate measures and it’s inevitable that some of these will have an impact on the communities we serve.

“We’re reviewing the savings we’ve identified for next year to see which could be introduced more quickly. We’re also looking at any spending that could be deferred until next year. And if posts become vacant we won’t be filling them straight away, with recruitment of staff pausing for the time being.

“We remain locked into a cycle of historic underfunding that is leaving us further and further behind. Recent news from government of the settlement figure for the year ahead has not helped the situation at all, and I have written to the government and our MPs requesting a meeting with the minister to address our concerns and the impact they will have on local communities.



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