Havering Council review finances to tackle £7m overspend

Havering Council's is looking at ways to tackle a �7m overspend

Havering Council's is looking at ways to tackle a �7m overspend - Credit: Archant

Almost £7million has been overspent by Havering Council on children, adults and housing services, according to a budget report.

The overspend may be mitigated through reserves and grants but more financial pressures are on the way as the authority predicts it will need to cut a further £16million from 2017 to 2019.

The council has warned this figure could increase further due to population growth.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has outlined £20bn of cuts to unprotected departments nationally by 2019/2020 and local government funding reductions yearly until 2019.

The authority, which must plan a balanced budget, is exploring proposals to bridge the funding gap, including service reviews and money making schemes.

Staff have been placed in “hot house” groups to work on ways to make savings in their departments while the authority is also exploring the possibility of increasing council tax after 2016.

The latest report and recommendations were passed by cabinet on Wednesday evening.

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More detail and further options are expected to be brought before the full council in October.

Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Roger Ramsey, said: “The financial strategy looks at what we will do over the next three years to manage reductions in funding.

“We have an ageing population and rapid growth in the number of younger families. This, and more, presents challenges and more demand for council services. The strategy outlines how we will meet these while protecting front-line services.”