COUNCIL DEFICIT 'HIGHER THAN FORECAST'

The Council's budget deficit is higher than initially forecast with debts - and therefore projected income - overstated by £546,000, auditors have found.

Grant Thornton have identified several issues in the Council’s Annual Draft Statement of Accounts which need to be addressed in order to be "fully compliant with the Financial Code".

The auditors are working with Andy Brown, the Council’s Section 151 Officer, to complete the statement of accounts by the next meeting of Full Council on January 26.

 

Council chairman Amanda Martin said: "The closure of the statement of accounts for 2015/16 is of critical importance for the Council to be able to set next year’s budget. 

 

"Regrettably, our local authority is facing huge budgetary pressures in common with all public authorities throughout the country and further savings will be required."

 

Vice Chairman Steve Sims added: "The main issue facing the Council is not so much one of income. Our primary settlement has remained substantially intact though a considerable amount of secondary funding has disappeared. 

 

"Disproportionately high expenditure due to our isolation and geography is the problem. For example, now that the authority is dealing with waste legally, the cost has rocketed to around £1m a year, in the region of nine times as much per person as the mainland. This is not adequately factored into the settlement.

 

"So, despite considerable savings across the authority, waste management continues to eat up these savings - and an under resourced finance department hasn't helped."

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