Home Knowsley Council End of year budget update

End of year budget update

by Emily Maguire

Cabinet today received a report on the Council’s 2021/22 end of year Budget monitoring position.

Despite significant challenges throughout the pandemic, the Council’s robust financial management has enabled the costs of responding to COVID-19 to be contained within Government funding. This is a fantastic achievement given at times, the Council had to step in when the Government didn’t – for example initially funding free school meals during periods of lockdown.

The report presents a very positive position for our service budgets, and at the end of 2021/22 overall surplus for the Council is £0.496m.

There are still a number of issues that will need careful monitoring. This includes additional costs of adult social care packages and increased expenditure on children looked after placements. These are due to demand-led cost pressures and increasingly complex care needs. The continued high levels of savings from unfilled vacant posts has resulted in increased spending on agency staff. This is particularly prevalent in social care services.

Looking ahead, a significant pressure will be the inflationary pressures on council services and the cost of living crisis and the Council may once again have to step in in the absence of Government support being forthcoming.

Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “We are once again demonstrating our robust financial management to report such a positive financial position, despite the challenging times we have faced.

“Importantly, as well as responding to the pandemic, we have been able to invest in our recovery by ensuring we are providing the very best services and facilities to our residents.

“I’d particularly like to thank our staff for their continued hard work and the invaluable support they are providing to our communities.

“In addition, our residents, partner agencies, community and voluntary sector and businesses have also played their part too as we are getting back on the road to recovery and doing all that we can to support one another and the wider borough.

“The highest levels of inflation for four decades are now driving up the costs of the raw materials, labour and services that Councils must pay for in order to provide essential public services. It is essential that the Government steps in to support Councils facing these huge financial challenges.”