Wiltshire Council now on course for a balanced budget
Wiltshire Council has said the two per cent levy it was allowed to add to council tax bills this year has not solved the shortfall in government funding for social care services for adults and children. However, the Council is now is predicting it will deliver a balanced budget at the end of the year, following the introduction of a number of internal cost saving measures and budget trims.
A projected overspend of £8.3m or more was flagged up in September.
The rise in costs was largely due to increased demand for children’s and adults’ social care and the reduction in government funding.
Cabinet members were told at their meeting on Tuesday (December 13) that the projected overspend has been halved to £4.04m with more measures in place to deliver a balanced budget by year end. Councillor Dick Tonge, cabinet member for finance, said: “The situation we face is the same across the UK as all local authorities are having to tighten their belts.”
“The rising costs are a reflection of the reduction in government funding set against a continued increase in demand, especially in care. The social care levy allowed by the government has alleviated but not resolved the problem.”
“We must continue to find innovative ways to save and be smarter to ensure we meet the challenges ahead. We keep a close eye on our finances and by taking these actions in good time we are ensuring we are heading for a balanced budget by the end of March 2017.”