Northumberland County Council's finances this year are "a positive picture overall in challenging times", with a £4.2m underspend now forecast. However, a report to Tuesday's meeting of the authority's cabinet was not all good news. The budget process for 2018-19 took account of a gap of £8.2m and, while savings totalling £6.8m have been fully realised to date or good progress is being made, the remaining £1.4m requires further work "as a result of the service encountering a delay or an issue which does not enable it to deliver the saving as it was envisaged". The financial performance report also explains that there are emerging budget pressures totalling £3.4m in relation to adult services and children's social care, with provision for this being made in the latest financial plan, which is set to be signed off next week. Read More Today's other news stories Overall, the adult wellbeing and health portfolio is projecting an underspend of £1.3m, but … [Read more...] about The areas Northumberland County Council has overspent
Northumberland county council
More cuts, a council-tax rise of just under 4% and well over half-a-billion pounds of capital spending are on the cards in Northumberland in the coming years. The county council has now published its detailed budget for 2019-20 as well as its medium-term financial plan for the next three years, with proposals for cutting £25million out of the required savings of £36million – including £12.8million next year.Ratepayers will be doing their bit with council tax to increase by 2.99 per cent – the maximum allowed by the Government without a local authority holding a referendum, plus a further one per cent ring-fenced for adult social care.But this doesn’t mean that there won’t be investment in the county, with a significant £589million of spending lined up.Council leader Peter Jackson said: “We’ve worked tirelessly over the past year to balance our books and we’re confident we’ll be delivering a deliverable but ambitious … [Read more...] about What does Northumberland County Council’s budget mean for you?
Northumberland County Council aims to repair dangerous potholes within one day of being alerted, data obtained by the RAC Foundation shows. That's much slower than the most common response time of two hours, with the fastest councils in the UK acting within minutes.Hitting a pothole, or even swerving to avoid one, can ruin a car's suspension, steering or tyres, according to the AA.In extreme cases they can cause serious accidents.In 2018, the AA estimated potholes cost drivers and insurance companies an eye-watering £12 million.It said: "The pothole epidemic has become nothing short of a national disgrace."A Freedom of Information request by the RAC found that Northumberland County Council uses a "risk-based" approach to fixing potholes.Not only will a pothole's size be considered, but also the potential impact on road users and volume of traffic.That means deeper potholes on quiet lanes will be less of a priority than minor defects on a major route.The local authority will only … [Read more...] about How quickly does Northumberland County Council fill in dangerous potholes?
Northumberland County Council is forecasting an underspend of at least £1.25m this year, in what are testing financial times for local authorities. But there is no sign of an end to the cuts with another £36m of reductions proposed over the next three years, including £12.8m in 2019-20. The full council will be asked to approve this budget next month. The county council identified savings of £8.18m and the use of £3.24m from its reserves for this year's budget, which was approved last February. A statement of accounts update to the authority's audit committee this week states that service areas are forecast to underspend by £1.25m and this is anticipated to increase by the close of the financial year, while an extra £1m is to come in from the Government in relation to a business rates surplus. The council's overall total reserves and provisions are expected to reduce by £3.14m to £228.97m. Among the changes to the reserves figures is a … [Read more...] about No sign of an end to cuts at Northumberland County Council
Some caution has been expressed over the proposed hike in borrowing by Northumberland County Council to fund capital spending in the coming years. A treasury management update to the council's audit committee on Wednesday revealed that the authority's borrowing is set to be £747million by the end of the financial year. It decreased by £64.3million from £772.1million at the start of 2018-19 to £707.8million at November 30 last year, but will rise again up to April. But what concerned some of the committee members is the coming increase in the council's capital financing requirement (CFR), which is forecast to rise by more than a quarter in the next three years - from £911.9million at the start of 2019-20 to £1.17billion by the end of 2021-22. This is to help fund a £589million capital-spending programme of investment in the likes of schools, leisure centres and other infrastructure projects. CFR is a measure of the council's long-term borrowing … [Read more...] about Concern raised over staggering £747m borrowed by Northumberland County Council