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Hertfordshire County Council’s overspend forecast rises again to £15.7m

Finance chiefs at Hertfordshire County Council are forecasting an overspend of £15.7m by the end of the current financial year.

After predictions hit a peak of £16.4m last September, officers subsequently revised their forecast to an overspend of £13.4m by the end of March.

But on Thursday (February 8), the council’s resources and performance cabinet panel were told that that estimate had now increased by £2.3m.

County Hall, Hertford
County Hall, Hertford

Increasing demand for services and escalating costs teamed with the impact of inflation are said to have had an impact on council spending.

And cost-saving measures brought in earlier this year – including a freeze on recruitment to all non-essential posts – have not been sufficient.

According to a report presented to councillors, over the three months between the end of September and the end of December children service’s spending increased by £2.8m and adult care services by £1.3m.

And that means that over the full financial year, children’s services are now expected to have overspent their £233m budget by almost £19m.

Overall the county council has an annual revenue budget that is just over £1bn.

Meanwhile, it was also reported to the panel that schools’ budgets were now forecast to overspend by £7.3m – with an overspend of £10.3m forecast on the High Needs lock, which provides SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) support.

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