A COUNCIL is predicting that it will be in a much improved budget position after reducing its anticipated overspend by almost £3m.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council was looking at recording a budget overspend of £4.2m but members of the authority's cabinet are expected to hear that figure has been reduced to £1.4m.

And councillors will be told that the plan is to reduce that predicted overspend to zero be the end of the financial year in March 2019.

A report to Cabinet outlines how the authority has faced big increases in costs, particularly in Children’s Services, at the same time of having core funding reduced by Government.

The cost of looking after Children in Care, or on the edge of care, has increased by £3 million in the current financial year and the overall Children and Families cost of providing the service has risen by £3.8 million in 2018/19.

The report explains that in September the Council was forecasting an additional costs over budget of £4.2 million. The improvement has been made a number of measures, including the refinancing of loans to reduce interest payments.

Additionally, the Government, in the recent national budget, has also allocated money for Adult Social Care worth £720,000 and £937,000 for road maintenance.

Pictured, above, Councillor Christopher Massey, cabinet member for resources and deputy leader of the council, said: “The additional money announced in the Chancellor's budget doesn’t come close to mitigating the £4.1 million cut in our Revenue Support Grant made by the same Government in the 2018/19 financial year.

“We have worked hard to mitigate the cost pressures faced by the Council and this is now significantly less than the amount we faced three months ago. However, we still face a shortfall of nearly £1.4 million and work will continue to address this, before the year end in March 2019.

“There remains huge pressure on Children’s Services and we – along with other councils across the country – have called on the Government to recognise this issue and address it. At the moment, this pressure is only growing and it is vital that Ministers recognise this and take action.

“At the same time, we will never fail to offer the support our most vulnerable children need.

“I would like to pay tribute to everyone involved in the Council who provide quality services to our residents at a time when budgets are constantly under pressure.”

The cabinet will discuss the report at Redcar and Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart at 10am on Tuesday, December 11.