Shropshire Council’s financial situation – update shared at Cabinet
Shropshire Council’s Cabinet has given reassurance on the council’s financial situation, given recent headlines of the financial struggles faced by other councils, as it looks at the outcome of the first three months of the financial year.
In the first quarter, the council already expects to achieve over £34 million of the £51.4 million spending reductions it set out to find this year.
This is more than the combined savings it has delivered in the last three years, and represents two thirds of what it needs to find by April 2024.
In the first quarter of the year, £11m of savings have already been banked, with high confidence that another £23m will be delivered before the end of the financial year.
Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for finance and corporate resources, said that the council is not and cannot be complacent, and that much remains to be done.
“I want to be clear, in Shropshire, there is no indication of any imminent financial crisis – any suggestion that there may be is untrue and causes concerns for service users, staff and those we commission services with.
“We have tested our plans and have contingencies if we face unforeseen challenges, or not make every saving we have planned.
“Some councils are talking about declaring Section 114 notices, commonly referred to as ‘bankruptcy’, and it’s not clear these councils have the plans or measures in place to deal with this.
“By contrast, we do. We have increased our reserves and our cash levels are healthy. We are working very hard to deal with unforeseen pressures linked to growing demand for our services, such as social care.
“Yes, we will have hard decisions ahead over the winter to reach our target, but we are committed to safe financial control at Shropshire Council, and are well on our way to becoming a modern efficient and sustainable council.”