CABINET members will be told on Tuesday, December 17, that this year’s budget situation is getting better, albeit slowly and in small steps.

The total savings that Powys County Council (PCC) needs to make in the current financial year 2019/20 is £21.692 million.

Up to the end of November this figure has increased to £14.004 million which is a rise of £415,000 from £13.589 million at the end of October.

This is 70 per-cent of the total and the report states that the increase is due to Adult Social Services and the Education Service coming up with “planned savings.”

But this still leaves £7.688 million to be found.

The report add that further savings of £2.377 million expected to be delivered by March 31, 2020 and reduces the unachievable savings figure to, £5.311 million which has dropped by just £7,000 in a month.

In November the senior management team were asked to come up with a plan to find £5.318 million in “unachievable savings.”

These look likely to be put on top of the £13 million that PCC needs to save in the next financial year.

The report states: “Some mitigating action has been taken by services, and alternative means of covering the savings shortfall in the current financial year has been put in place.”

While this solves the problem in 2019/20 the unachievable savings still have to be put somewhere and the report points out that £1 million of the £5.311 million should be found in 2021.

Head of finance, Jane Thomas, says: “This month reports a continued improvement to previous months supported by an increase in level of savings delivered.

“Assurance continues that further savings can be achieved during this financial year and this ensures the delivery of a balanced budget and reduces the need to draw on the revenue reserves.”

At the moment the projected overspend is also forecast to be  £1.256 million which is down a smidge from £1.441 million at the end of October.

Ms Thomas adds that any change of plans to the delivery of savings from the various services would increase “concern” of failing to deliver a balanced budget,

“The continued gap in the delivery of savings and the proposals to address this must be resolved quickly, as this will continue to impact on the

budget in future years,” said Ms Thomas.

She points out that there is still £2 million that has not been given to a service area and that Adult Social Care, Children’s Social Services and Schools remain a worry.

The cabinet are expected to note the report.