End of year finances help Cambridgeshire County Council meet future challenges
A report on the council’s end of year financial position shows that Cambridgeshire ended 2021/22 with a £18.7million (4%) revenue underspend on its overall £466m net budget, strategy and resources committee will hear next Monday (27).
The report highlights that last year’s underspend is primarily due to short term impacts of the Covid -19 pandemic, with a budget set at a time of great uncertainty, when demand for social care services was unknown, and before government confirmed money would be made available to councils for necessary services or equipment – such free access to personal protective equipment for our staff and for providers of social care.
The final financial position for last year’s budget gives Members a platform to build on as they look ahead to deal with local challenges, as well as the rising cost of inflation which is already impacting every council across the UK
The council must also plan for forthcoming government reforms such as changes to Adult Social Care, and implementation of local priorities such as the climate change strategy that will require capacity and funding for internal change
“Looking ahead we still face a large savings requirement made even more challenging by the scale of uncertainty facing us due to national and international events.” said Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, council leader and chair of strategy and resource committee
“Our end of year position will allow us to develop some additional short-term flexibility as we are committed to a way of working that looks to the future, and allows us to balance our desire to create a greener, fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire in a way that residents in our county can afford.” she added.
“Our sound financial management will help us to manage growing regional and local inequalities which have resulted from the pandemic and provide additional support for our local care markets – to ensure there remains sufficient, appropriate and high quality care,” said Cllr Elisa Meschini
“However it is true that the pandemic has resulted in a shift of attitudes and behaviours that also present us with opportunities – such as providing more help and services closer to home working with groups and organisations who have been vital through the past two years, and a significant shift to more agile working which has not only helped the council save money on travel, but supported our aspirations to deliver net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Strategy and Resources Committee starts at 10am on June 27 at New Shire Hall in Alconbury, and will be live streamed via the council's Youtube channel.