Focus on priorities helping to reduce council overspend in Worthing

Released: Thursday, 30 November 2023

Inflationary and cost-of-living pressures affecting Worthing Borough Council this year are being reduced - but more work needs to be done.

Like every local authority in the country, we are facing tight financial restrictions caused by a reduction in central government funding and increasing pressure outside our control from inflation and cost-of-living challenges.

At the end of June this year, we were forecasting that we would be £1.83m over budget for the financial year because of unexpected increases in costs.

By the end of September the overspend had been reduced by almost £290,000, to a position where we were predicted to be £1.54m over budget for the year. Work is continuing to reduce this figure further before the end of the financial year.

Tackling homelessness is currently expected to cost us more than £450,000 extra this year, while the government's housing benefit restrictions have left us with an additional £750,000 to find beyond what was budgeted for.

Meanwhile, delays to developments, reduced use of the borough's car parks and fewer people being buried or cremated have all reduced our income.

We've brought in new tighter controls on spending, we're reviewing our asset portfolio and savings are being made in staffing and resources.

Some less time-sensitive work is being postponed or cancelled so that funding can be focused on vital services for the community.

Any remaining overspend will be met using our financial reserves.

Cllr John Turley, Worthing's cabinet member for resources, said:

“We are determined to protect services while addressing the financial pressures that we are facing, like many other councils.

“In particular, increasing housing pressures have produced a significant shortfall in the housing benefit subsidy we receive from the government. Once again this highlights the urgent need for more government funding to meet this and other pressures.

“We are continuing to make savings and look for new sources of funding but we are determined to continue providing the essential services that our citizens rely upon.”

press release - no photo image - WBC - grey

(PR23-171)

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Page last updated: 27 February 2024

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