IN JUST six weeks, Powys County Council’s financial problems seem to have gone up by over a third.

But while the figures have gone up, the amount of savings/cuts that can be delivered has also risen.

At Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, finance portfolio holder, Cllr Aled Davies (Conservative – Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant/Llansilin) will be explaining that the authority now needs to make a saving/cuts of £21.692 million compared to £13 million at the end of July.

This is because the social care costs have been added on top of the savings/cuts that had been discussed in July.

According to the report Social Services (both adult and children’s services)  have identified savings/cuts of £8.7 million they could make.

The savings identified have shot and more than doubled from £5.141 million at the end of July to £10.816 million

This means that nearly £10.876 million in savings has already been found, at the end of July this figure stood at £7.8 million.

Despite this the projected overspend at the end of the financial year (March 31, 2020) has also gone up from £4.357 million to  £4.623 million.

The report says that  “following a review” of the “outstanding savings” an extra  £6.851 million a was found that need to be made.

If all these savings are delivered then, somehow, it could see the budget finish in the black.

But it depends on whether service pressures of £9 million predicted by the Adult Services Department materialise.

As it stands PCC had expected to use £1.363 million from its reserves but this could rise to  £4.355 million if the savings are not made.

This would be from a general reserve which has £9.1 million left in it.

In the report head of finance, Jane Thomas, said: “Whilst 50 per-cent of the planned savings have been delivered as at July 31 it is critical that the remaining £10.186 million is achieved or alternative action identified and implemented to bring the budget into balance."

Ms Thomas added that she had received assurance from Heads of Service that £6.95 million will be found.

“This improves the position significantly and ensures that the risk to our budget and ultimately our reserves is diminished,” added Ms Thomas.

She added that the £2 million that has been set aside in this year’s budget in case Children’s Services need it has not been used yet.

But Ms Thomas adds that services have already been told to only spend on what’s “absolutely essential.”