Eden Council expects to overspend its budget this year by £1.5 million, as a result of the impact of coronavirus.
While provisional outturn figures for 2019-20 show an underspend of £356,000 on the year, a report which went before a meeting of the authority’s executive, has revealed that significant extra costs are expected this year.
These are related to the council’s leisure contract, homelessness and the IT costs of setting up home working, coupled with reduced income from car parking, commercial income and planning fees.
While spending to date is below the expected levels, once these pressures hit, it is expected to put the authority over budget by £1.5 million.
The authority’s capital programme will also need to be reviewed, since delays on projects caused by lockdown means only £500,000 or eight per cent of the overall budget has so far been spent this year, which is significantly lower than would be expected at this stage of the financial year.
The report to the executive said that the capital programme would need to be fully assessed as to whether each project can still realistically be delivered this year.
The council is also aware the Government is specifically considering financial arrangements with regard to the operation of leisure centres, as many councils are in the same position of facing significant costs on the leisure contract.
However, what it might do as a result has yet to be announced.
The expected additional leisure costs amount to £1.2 million of the shortfall the council is predicting this year.