A report to Cabinet has confirmed that for the 13th consecutive year Borough of Poole has not overspent its budget, despite significant Government funding cuts and continuing demand pressures on key services.
The news comes as Borough of Poole’s Cabinet, at their meeting last night, agreed to recommend the final accounts for 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 for approval by Council.
The council has delivered a small £300,000 underspend in its financial position since December, when the budget for 2015/16 was set. A significant element of this improvement is due to the resolution of a number of claims against the council and delivery of savings across services.
This underspend is in addition to Councillors recommending £2.3 million is set aside to support essential and urgent repairs to the Dolphin Centre Multi Storey Car Park.
It is proposed that the underspend is transferred to the council’s reserves and used to offset significant future funding pressures, including a loss of central government revenue funding of £12 million by 2019.
Councillor Janet Walton, Leader of the Council, Borough of Poole, said: “Council staff and Councillors have continued to work closely together to achieve savings wherever possible. Our robust financial management has ensured that we have spent £300,000 less than was originally planned. This will help offset some of the difficult financial challenges that lie ahead.”
Councillor May Haines, Deputy Leader of the Council, Borough of Poole, said: “These savings have been achieved through the sheer hard work of staff. Their professionalism and dedication in continuing to seek out opportunities to make savings or negotiating settlements is to be admired.”
Adam Richens, Head of Financial Services, Borough of Poole, said: “Looking ahead, the council continues to face enormous financial challenges and we are preparing for this now. The improved position will provide temporary support in managing the significant cuts in government funding, as well as enabling major investment in a town centre car park to support retailers and the economic prosperity of the town.”
The final accounts will be presented to Full Council on 28 June for a final decision.