County Hall gates

Work to balance the books paying off as council reports improved financial position

Ongoing work to drive down a projected overspend across Lancashire County Council is starting to pay off, though much work remains to deliver a balanced budget by the end of the financial year.

Through strong financial management, the projected overspend has reduced by £1.7m from the position reported at Quarter 1, reducing from £7.6m to £5.9m.

For context, the forecast overspend is small in proportion to the overall budget, representing 0.57% of the overall approved revenue budget of £1,039.046m.

The focus remains on identifying offsetting cost reductions to achieve a more balanced final outturn position.

Members of the cabinet will be updated on the latest position at its meeting today (Thursday, 7th December). 

Children's and Adult Services, which provide support for some of the most vulnerable people in Lancashire, continue to be the biggest areas of spend within the revenue budget.

Adult Services has been applying a number of measures to ensure there is robust and effective budget management. The biggest risk in managing the Adult Services budget continues to be around increasing demand for services and the cost of care packages.

Children's Services continues to focus on strengthening financial management and ensuring that robust decision making is in place before committing to significant ongoing spend.

Cllr Alan Vincent, Deputy Leader of Lancashire County Council and cabinet member for Resources, HR and Property, said: "We are doing everything we can to deliver a balanced budget by year end and continue to apply prudent and strong financial management to achieve this.

"We've not shied away from the challenge in front of us and I am pleased to see that the hard work across our services are paying off.

"We are going in the right direction but that doesn't mean we can get complacent as there is still much work left to do.

"These remain challenging times for local authorities across the country and we will continue to focus all our efforts on balancing the books while delivering quality services to our residents."