Finance chiefs at Trafford Council say they managed to balance the books last year and provide much-needed services for residents despite the financial challenges facing the organisation.
A report which is due to be discussed by the Council’s Executive Committee revealed that the revenue spending for the last financial year came in a fraction under budget.
Savings made by the Council and careful cash management helped it meet its budget targets. Against that, costs due to inflation and an overspend in children’s transport and placements brought extra pressures to the budget.
Overall, the report which goes before the Executive on Monday 19 June shows the Council had an overall revenue budget of £192.57m for 2022-23 and underspent by £56,000. This additional money will go towards next year’s budget with the Council again having to deal with another huge multi-million pound shortfall.
Cllr Jo Harding, Executive Member for Finance, Change and Governance, said: “This shows how we are prudently managing our money – despite cuts to the amount we receive.
“Last year saw us increase spending on our frontline services, particularly on children and vulnerable adults. We also provided extra support over the winter to families suffering from the cost-of-living crisis. So, to come in under budget and still provide the right support at the right time is a real achievement.
“It means our residents and businesses are getting excellent value and we are making the most of the money we receive.”
However, inflationary pressures, revenue cuts and a projected shortfall in business rates means there is still significant pressure on the 2023-24 budget.
Cllr Harding said: “We have suffered £290m of budgets cuts since 2020-11 and we are lowest funded council in Greater Manchester per head. We now have another shortfall of £24.86m for this year and are being asked to find yet more cuts.
“We have shown how prudent we are in managing our budgets and a fair funding deal from the government that puts us in line with similar Councils would make a big difference.
“We want to carry on providing support for residents in need. Our budget figures show we are doing all we can to do that but we are still operating with one hand tied behind our back without a fairer funding deal for Trafford.”
Posted on Friday 16th June 2023