Stoke-on-Trent City Council on course to balance books
SAVINGS of more than £16.2 million have been banked in nine months through council budget cuts.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council says the savings total shows it is on course to balance its books in 2012/13 – as officers and councillors prepare to reveal how they will save up to £23 million more next year.
Records outlining the authority's financial position at the end of the second quarter of the financial year show finance chiefs are currently predicting an overspend of almost £2 million this year.
But they are expecting to avert the overspend by delaying projects and only filling vacant posts which are considered essential.
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The biggest funding pressures facing the authority include a £2.5 million overspend in children's services due to soaring numbers of referrals for care.
And the council is again more than £300,000 short of the amount it expected to raise from its car parks.
The authority is due to set out another programme of major budget cuts this week.
It follows cuts totalling more than £56 million over the last two years.
Leaders will not find out the exactly how much the council has to save until the Government announces local government funding settlements in late December.
Chief executive John van de Laarschot said: "Strong political leadership, combined with decisive action, provided a robust starting point to meet the challenges of the most severe financial settlement in recent history.
"Huge uncertainty over the level of future resources still remains."