November 1, 2021 1.04 pm

North East Lincolnshire Council overspends by £4m

Council expects to go £4m over budget as Covid pressures bite

By Local Democracy Reporter

The ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic and high demand on children’s services have increasingly strained resources at North East Lincolnshire Council.

Halfway through the financial year, the overspend is currently estimated to be £4.3million.

A report which will go before Cabinet describes the financial situation as becoming “increasingly acute”.

The pandemic has hit the amount collected through council tax and other rates, and its impact could continue to be felt for years depending on the speed of economic recovery.

Government support has helped to mitigate the shortfall, but children and family services are expected to cost £11million more than originally forecast due to high demand.

Additional teams have been brought in at “significant cost” as the pandemic has made it difficult to recruit new staff.

The council hopes that government and private investment will speed up growth within the borough.

Inflation, NHS reforms and the growing demand for care from an ageing populating will likely continue to challenge the council’s budget.

The report states: “The forecast reflects the on-going impact of Covid-19, and the subsequent risks and demands being experienced, particularly within children’s and family services.

“We are continuing to work with services to manage and mitigate demand and workforce pressures although the financial position is becoming increasingly acute.

“The council’s long term financial strategy remains focused on the achievement of financial sustainability through economic and housing growth, and therefore the pace of delivery is critical.

“The council has taken a more commercial approach over the past two years and is working alongside government and private investors to accelerate growth across the borough.

“Major regeneration projects within the town centres and the Humber bank are factored into the capital investment programme.”

The council has also delivered millions in government grants to support people and businesses during the pandemic, which are noted in the report.

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