A COMBINATION of continued careful financial management and spending control across county council operations led to a budget improvement over the last quarter of the year, the County Council has said.
The quarter two performance report, which will be discussed at next week’s cabinet meeting, shows a forecast underspend of just under £1.6million. In quarter one there was an overspend of £3.2million was forecast.
With the county council looking to save £35million over the next financial year, measures to reduce spending further have already been introduced, with a focus on protecting essential services.
Staffordshire County Council’s finance leader Mike Sutherland said: “Over the last three months, despite increased pressures and continuous demand for both our adult services and children’s services, back office savings work has continued and with rapid and careful financial management has turned a projected overspend of £3.2m at the end of quarter one into a forecast underspend of just under £1.6m at the end of the second quarter.
“Spending controls are in force across the council to keep a tight grip on our finances and ensure we not only live within our means and protect essential services for the most vulnerable in Staffordshire, but that we also look to maintain our levels of reserves in line with our risk assessment so that we can respond to emergencies or financial shocks in the economy.
“We continue to manage huge pressures placed on us by adult and children’s social care costs. We recently published our longer-term financial strategy which outlines proposals to reduce costs and close a £35m shortfall in our funding in the next financial year. We face some incredibly difficult decisions in the coming months but as a well-run county council, we will continue delivering value for money for residents and businesses, and making every pound we spend count.”