There is a planned spending gap of £ 11.7million in Swindon Borough Council’s revenue budget for 2021-2022 – the pot of money it will pay for daily services for.
This represents 7.6% of the £ 153million budget for the year, but will be cut after a Covid-19 government grant of £ 5.7million.
As Keith Williams, a member of the council cabinet responsible for climate change and finance, briefed his colleagues in the Conservative administration, it emerged that his predecessor, Councilor Russell Holland and senior finance officials from Euclid Street s were worried about a possible bankruptcy at this point last year.
In the corresponding month in 2020, the council’s finances had been hit much harder by Covid-19 and the lockdown – it was spending a lot more money than it budgeted to support the people protecting, and it didn’t hadn’t received his expected income from places like Coate’s Water Park, Steamer, and Lydiard. The lack of activity during the lockdown caused the revenue from his parking lot to plummet.
In September 2020, the planned overrun stood at more than £ 18million and Labor Group leader Jim Grant said: to fulfill his statutory obligations and to have to declare himself, in fact, bankrupt.
Coun Grant added: “At what size of a planned overrun would members of this cabinet be concerned about the bankruptcy of this board?”
Councilor Williams and Head of Council David Renard stressed that it was not at all unusual that there was a large spending gap expected at this point in the fiscal year.
Councilor Renard said: “There is always a budget deficit at this time of year, but by March we will have balanced the budget as we have done every year since 2006.”
Responding to Councilor Grant’s comment that it seemed like the central government seemed to want to ‘claw back’ at least some of the additional support it has given over the past two years, Councilor Williams said: ‘We will be pushing the government, and our two MPs are senior members of the government.
“We have very capable agents who are now working to find savings in the budget. ”
Two of the biggest pressures on the budget are a planned £ 3.8million overrun by adult social services and a £ 2.5million overrun by children’s services – both affected by demand increased during and after the pandemic.