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BUDGET CHALLENGES: St Albans councillors to make substantial savings to address budget gap

 Published on: 3rd January 2022   |   By: Holly Bullen   |   Category: Uncategorized

St Albans City and District Council councillors have decided that substantial savings will need to be found in the budget for the next financial year.

This decision has come after witnessing the adverse effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the council’s finances.
As a result, the budget gap for 2022/23 – the difference between income and expenditure – is estimated at a £2 million loss unless action is taken.

At a meeting of the council’s policy committee this month, members decided to reduce the gap, proposing savings in the range of six to eight per cent of their current budget.

The overall 2022/23 budget is due to be agreed by the Full Council on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

Councillor Chris White, Council Leader and Policy Committee Chair, said after the meeting: “We have battled very hard to maintain services and deliver our priority projects, such as tackling climate change, during the pandemic.

“We’ll continue to do that, but it is evident that in common with other local authorities we face significant financial challenges in the year ahead. These are principally due to the loss of income from leisure facilities and off-street parking, for which they council has not been fully compensated by central government funding.

“We have a statutory duty to balance the budget which means we now have no other option, with our income having fallen, to look for savings across the full range of Council services.

“This is not something we want to do, but it has been forced upon us by current economic conditions.”

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