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Cabinet to receive latest finance update


12 September 2023

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has been working hard to keep its books balanced during the first part this financial year despite facing continued rising demand and costs for key services.

In April the Council set a balanced revenue budget of £383.5m for 2023/24, which prioritised its commitment to maintaining and protecting essential services whilst also setting out savings proposals of £32m.

A report published this week updating Cabinet members on the first four months of 2023/24 highlights how WNC, like other councils nationally, is continuing to see significant financial pressures from the increasing cost and demand for children’s services, adult social care and temporary housing along with the ongoing impact of high inflation.

With the help of robust monitoring and prudent financial planning, the Council is working hard to minimise the impact of these ongoing challenges and is currently forecasting an end-of-year overspend of £2.8m, equating to less than 1% of its annual revenue budget. It is also on course towards its annual savings target, with latest figures showing the council having already delivered nearly a quarter of the £32m efficiencies proposed within the first few months.

Among the priorities for keeping budgets on track in the year ahead will be working more closely with Northamptonshire Children’s Trust, providing them with additional support and working alongside them to ensure they have robust measures in place to reduce a projected £14m overspend on children’s services in West Northamptonshire and capacity to continue to transform and improve outcomes for youngsters.

Having overcome significant challenges to set a balanced budget for this financial year, we have since been working hard to maintain this position and ensure we keep a firm grip of our spending, despite the ongoing pressures around high inflation, rising service costs and demand.

These challenges aren’t likely to go away any time soon but by continuing to be prudent in our planning and managing our finances robustly, we have provided ourselves with a firm footing towards tackling them.
Cllr Malcolm Longley, Cabinet Member for Finance at West Northamptonshire Council

Members of WNC’s Cabinet will meet next week (Tuesday 19 September) to consider the latest finance update – the report can be viewed on the website.

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