'Highly likely' that Slough council deficit will increase, says forecast

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Damning audit reports into finances could cost Slough council thousands

At a meeting of the cabinet on Monday the council outlined its forecast financial position for 31 March 2022.

The continued problems with Slough’s finances were highlighted in a Section 114 notice issued in July.

The notice said Slough council cannot spend any money except on essential and statutory services (such as adult social care and children’s services) without written consent from its section 151 officer.

The report presented at cabinet on Monday said it is ‘highly likely’ the total forecast deficit, previously reported as £174m at the time of the S114 notice, will be increased.

The General Fund balance – money set aside for emergencies or unexpected costs – is currently forecast to be a cumulative deficit of £111m.

The Dedicated School Grant (DSG) is forecast to be a cumulative deficit of £24.2m, an increase of around £238,000 compared to previous figures.

This has been going up for a number of years due to increased demand for out-of-borough SEN placements, post-16 services and places at special schools.

At 30 September 2021, the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) – which records expenditure and income on running a council’s housing stock – was forecasting a net surplus £950,000 for 2021/22.

However, HRA is ring-fenced, so any net under or overspends cannot be transferred to other services.

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