William Eichler 23 May 2024

Windsor and Maidenhead council issues bankruptcy warning

Windsor and Maidenhead council issues bankruptcy warning  image
Image: rbwm.gov.uk.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has warned it could be facing effective bankruptcy if financial support is not agreed soon.

The borough has begun talks with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in the hope of securing exceptional financial support.

The council, which limited all non-essential spending last September, said that it has uncovered historical costs which were not previously budgeted for.

It also warned it has ‘extremely low financial resilience’ with reserves in April 2023 at an unaudited £10m – the lowest known reserves of any unitary authority – and debt which has increased from £58.7m in 2014 to £204m by March 2023.

A statement from the borough said that access to additional funding would give it the ‘breathing space’ needed to reduce the risk of having to issue a statutory Section 114 notice.

Cllr Lynne Jones, cabinet member for Finance, said: ‘Due mainly to historical decisions, the council simply doesn’t have the financial resilience to manage the risks ahead, which is why we’ve begun discussions with Government about additional support. This will give us the time and capacity to deliver our plans and achieve the transformation needed to become financially sustainable, while continuing to maintain services for residents.’

Check out: Councils in crisis: time to stop the cycle of decline.

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