William Eichler 20 November 2019

Shropshire Council warns of £6m overspend

Shropshire Council has announced a spending freeze until the end of the year after warning that it faced a multi-million pound overspend.

A financial management report for Quarter 2 of 2019/20 found that ‘without management action’ the council was facing an overspend of £5.987m.

The overspend is reportedly the result of cuts and pressure on adult social care and children’s services.

The local authority’s general fund balance is predicted to be £9.550m by the end of March 2020, a figure ‘significantly below the recommended level’.

Clive Wright, Shropshire Council’s chief executive, confirmed that the spending freeze means ‘only essential expenditure should be committed’.

‘Managers were briefed on Monday and an email to all staff on Tuesday explained that if there is any doubt staff should confirm with their line manager or director whether or not expenditure should go ahead,’ Mr Wright said.

‘A similar approach has been used successfully in the past to control in-year expenditure,’ he added.

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