Naomi Larsson 25 February 2019

Council's projected overspend more than doubles

Highland Council has warned of a £5.5m overspend this year, more than double the amount previously predicted.

The council risks dipping into its reserves if it is unable to balance its books by the end of the financial year.

Its biggest overspend is in the care and learning service, with a projected year-end gap of more than £3m – far worse than the £900,000 forecast earlier in the year.

Most of the council’s financial difficulties come from the demand of services for looked-after children and support for children with special needs in schools.

The council plans to offset some of the service overspends through council tax income.

A report by Highland’s leadership team said the council remained committed to reducing the forecast overspend.

It read: ‘A review of earmarked reserves will take place to see if any funding previously set aside can now be released for general use.’

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