Trafford Council to launch investigation into £6 million budget shortfall

Messenger Newspapers: Cllr Sean Anstee Cllr Sean Anstee

TRAFFORD Council is set to launch an investigation into how it failed to spot a £6m shortfall which could prevent it balancing the books for 2014/2015.

The announcement has led leader of the opposition, Cllr David Acton, to call for an urgent meeting, over what he termed ‘gross mismanagement’.

The council’s pronouncement follows a review of its original budget, which revealed its original forecast of cuts in the current budget of up to £17 million would now rise to up to £23 million.

Reacting to the news that an additional £6 million in cuts would now have to be found, council leader, Cllr Sean Anstee, said: “I have asked for a detailed review into what happened and what lessons can be learned."

According to local authority bosses, the fault lies with the costs associated with caring for vulnerable people in the borough, particularly the elderly and adults with a learning difficulties, which it says has increased considerably compared to previous assumptions.

Council officials failed to pick up on the additional demand, which was not highlighted in the regular budget monitoring reports, and was therefore not incorporated into base assumptions when the budget for this financial year was set in February.

Cllr Acton said: “It is clear that the Conservatives have grossly mismanaged their Budget to the tune of £6 million.

“This will result in further massive cuts to services for the people of Trafford. The Conservatives have been utterly incompetent to allow such a massive overspend to happen and not to report this in their recent 2014/15 budget proposals.

“This incompetence will have severe adverse implication to service users.

“Serious questions have to be asked about why the Conservative leadership did not have financial checking systems in place to pick up such irregularities in spending patterns.

“I call on the leader and deputy leader to apologise for their mismanagement of the budget.

Cllr Anstee added: “Providing adult social care to vulnerable members of our community is a statutory duty of the council and one we take very seriously, but it should be recognised that by its very nature the service is demand led and if we care for an increased number of people the costs will be higher.

“I recognise that the increased cost of social care will place considerable strain on our already limited resources and require further difficult decisions for savings to be made, but that is the right and responsible step to take as we continue to care for the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Comments (7)

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2:42pm Wed 25 Jun 14

mms98 says...

And you voted them in .......Again?
And you voted them in .......Again? mms98
  • Score: 21

4:46pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Altfish says...

Strange that this is only found AFTER the elections??
Strange that this is only found AFTER the elections?? Altfish
  • Score: 23

4:46pm Wed 25 Jun 14

watching says...

Bring in the District Auditor to inspect the books they are the professionals,they can Audit the year end closing balance without any problem,i have seen them at work they wont miss a trick the more they find the deeper they will investigate.
Bring in the District Auditor to inspect the books they are the professionals,they can Audit the year end closing balance without any problem,i have seen them at work they wont miss a trick the more they find the deeper they will investigate. watching
  • Score: 20

5:11pm Wed 25 Jun 14

mms98 says...

How many times do we hear that the council do not listen to the vulnerable or to the elderly? I cant think of a more perfect example than this , showing that the whole section has been 'forgotten' about.

Maybe its time for trafford council to finally say , we need 'x' amount of money to pay for what we need , time to up the council tax a little,

Nobody wants that but its clear that the council cannot afford what it needs to spend, staff are doing the jobs of 2 or 3 people, some are having to take extra time off with no pay , parks arnt being looked after as often , bins are emptied monthly/fornightly, potholes are growing, libraries are run by volunteers, assets have been sold (land at tescos etc), sale water park funding has been stopped, their is only so much you can collect from parking wardens, you have killed the towns , now going to the trafford centre and retail parks(free parking and no yellow lines) ,chief executive pay is higher than the prime minister! Care homes closed,day centers closed.

Wake up people , you cant spend what you dont have!!
How many times do we hear that the council do not listen to the vulnerable or to the elderly? I cant think of a more perfect example than this , showing that the whole section has been 'forgotten' about. Maybe its time for trafford council to finally say , we need 'x' amount of money to pay for what we need , time to up the council tax a little, Nobody wants that but its clear that the council cannot afford what it needs to spend, staff are doing the jobs of 2 or 3 people, some are having to take extra time off with no pay , parks arnt being looked after as often , bins are emptied monthly/fornightly, potholes are growing, libraries are run by volunteers, assets have been sold (land at tescos etc), sale water park funding has been stopped, their is only so much you can collect from parking wardens, you have killed the towns , now going to the trafford centre and retail parks(free parking and no yellow lines) ,chief executive pay is higher than the prime minister! Care homes closed,day centers closed. Wake up people , you cant spend what you dont have!! mms98
  • Score: 17

9:57am Thu 26 Jun 14

rockinrocky_robin says...

It's the age old problem, people want perfect public services but when it comes down to it they won't pay for it, same with the NHS, they expect European levels of healthcare but are only prepared to pay American levels of tax to fund it

It the Conservatives were to raise taxes it would be political suicide and was a tactic employed by Labour at local and national levels with little improvement for the much greater amounts of taxation raised. The last Labour administration doubled the Council Tax during their period in office in Trafford and look at the level of debt the last Labour government left us
It's the age old problem, people want perfect public services but when it comes down to it they won't pay for it, same with the NHS, they expect European levels of healthcare but are only prepared to pay American levels of tax to fund it It the Conservatives were to raise taxes it would be political suicide and was a tactic employed by Labour at local and national levels with little improvement for the much greater amounts of taxation raised. The last Labour administration doubled the Council Tax during their period in office in Trafford and look at the level of debt the last Labour government left us rockinrocky_robin
  • Score: -18

6:09pm Thu 26 Jun 14

davyhulme_resident says...

who's the boy in the photo at the top?
who's the boy in the photo at the top? davyhulme_resident
  • Score: 16

7:31pm Thu 26 Jun 14

rollockybill says...

Typical Tory arrogance to blame it on the needs of the vulnerable. No apologies for their mismanagement. Forgive me if I am ever so slightly sceptical. The ridiculous inflated salaries they pay the unaccountable and obviously incompetent officers at the top surely have an impact. How can they be justified now? These ludicrous salaries are utterly offensive to the people who have to fund them. That means US !
Typical Tory arrogance to blame it on the needs of the vulnerable. No apologies for their mismanagement. Forgive me if I am ever so slightly sceptical. The ridiculous inflated salaries they pay the unaccountable and obviously incompetent officers at the top surely have an impact. How can they be justified now? These ludicrous salaries are utterly offensive to the people who have to fund them. That means US ! rollockybill
  • Score: 19

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