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District council could spend extra £125k
WYRE Forest District Council could spend nearly £125,000 more than previously thought this financial year.
The figure includes additional costs after fire-hit Lawrence Recycling was unable to fulfil a contract with the authority.
The budget monitoring update for the first quarter of 2013/14 – April to June – shows the council is on course to spend £124,500 more than the £12,782,540 it had budgeted for when spending plans were agreed in February.
District council leader, Conservative councillor John Campion, described the figures as “guess-timations” in the “early part of the financial year” and said budgets evened themselves out over the course of the 12-month period.
He said the figures captured a specific moment in time and as the budget would “come back into line” and money would not need to be saved elsewhere before April, 2014.
The budget monitoring report, which comes less than two weeks after the council announced it needed to slash £2 million from its spending plans over the next two years, is due to be discussed by the council’s five-member cabinet next Tuesday at Wyre Forest House.
The document shows the main variances from previous predictions include spending £10,000 less on environmental maintenance thanks to a cut in car park expenditure. A delay in the transfer of ownership of Stourport Civic Centre, however, has added £42,000 to the projected budget and it is predicted the council will receive £20,000 less from planning fees than previously thought.
Wyre Forest also had a contract with Lawrence Recycling to dispose of commercial trade waste but the firm, which suffered a crippling blaze in June, has been unable to see the agreement through, adding £22,500 to the council’s spend. Lawrence’s Skip Hire has since entered administration.
The report also notes the council contributed up to £50,000 to remedial works at Lawrence’s Stourport Road recycling plant.
Mr Campion said: “We have contingencies to deal with these kinds of things. We have a large reserve of £1 million for emergencies.”
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