Greenwich Council's financial mess

At Tuesday night’s Cabinet meeting figures revealed that Greenwich Council’s budget was being overspent by £13.48m with another £3.5m in further pressures which could still make the situation worse.

 

This year, the Council intends to use reserves of £4m, lower interest rates of £2m and some cost savings in the year (£2,7m) to help reduce the deficit, however, nearly £5m remains.  This overspend means that over the next four years, Greenwich residents are faced not just with cuts of at least £42m from the government, but a further £13.5m because of the current budget deficit.

 

Key factors behind the overspend are:-

 

  • Increased numbers of hours being allocated through care packages accounting for £4m.
  • Increased use of agency staff in essential services dealing with adult social care (£1.9m).
  • A continuing rise in the number of children being placed in care.  There are currently 615 ‘looked after’ children in Greenwich, accounting for an overspend of £6.9m.

 

There are also problems with lower levels of income than expected from parking fines and charges (£600,000).

 

Leader of the Opposition on Greenwich Council, Conservative Councillor Spencer Drury said “The Labour government massive financial mismanagement left the whole country in real trouble, but in Greenwich the situation has been made worse by the lack of planning when similar overspends occurred last year.  If this situation does not change, Greenwich residents face a double whammy of cuts from Labour nationally and locally.”