SAVINGS of £9m have been made at Kirklees Council.
The savings were made in the revenue budget used to fund council services over the 2012/13 financial year.
There were savings of £4.6m in the capital budget and a surplus of £3.7m in the housing service – which is now self-financing.
Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan said: “We’ve made some significant savings so far by driving down costs and increasing efficiencies across the board and we continue to make good progress.
“However, it still can’t be ignored that over the five-year period to 2016 we need to make total savings of £96m.
“With reduced funding from central government continuing to squeeze budgets even more, we still have some very tough decisions to make in future budget rounds.”
In revenue the 2.6% savings came out of a budget of £347m.
Capital budgets saw an underspend of £52m against the predicted budget of £140m.
The underspend is due primarily to management action to refocus spending on the council’s priorities, coupled with a slow down in spending.
Housing services are now self-financing through rental from tenants and service charges rather than government subsidy.
David Smith, Director of Resources, said: “Councillors will look at the underspend and agree how to balance the twin aims of delivering council services and investment programmes with reduced funding against the savings that need to be made.”
Overall Kirklees Council’s gross revenue budget for 2013/14 is £871m – council tax accounts for 15.5% of that (£135m) and government grants 65.5% (£570m).
Kirklees Cabinet will consider the reports at Tuesday’s meeting at 4pm at Huddersfield Town Hall. It will be debated at the July 10 Full Council meeting.
FINANCE AT A GLANCE
Kirklees Council is still owed half of the £1m it invested in the Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which crashed in 2008. It might not get the final payment until 2018. The council is considering the benefit and risk of selling the outstanding liability onto a third party.
£1.5m “uncommitted” rollover in capital includes £420k Waterfront under-spend, £270k Fieldhead loan and £151k Castle Hill. £250,000 of the sum will be re-invested into Bereavement Services to “alleviate funding pressures with the installation of new cremators and mercury abatement equipment at Huddersfield and Dewsbury Crematoria”.
Seasonal weather overspend of £900k. Schools Facilities Management overspent by £383k; £146k of that is attributable to lost trading days where schools were closed due to snow.
Parking had a £376k underspend due to higher than projected parking fee income.
Huddersfield Sport Centre -£1,088. The capital variance reflects delays on the new Sport Centre project.
Corporate Policy Initiatives: Kirklees College Loan -£2,622k the cash flow requirements of the college dictate how the loan is drawn down and less was required in 2012/13 than anticipated.
In 2012/13 the council invested balances of around £30.2m, largely for maintaining day-to-day cash flow. Remaining balances were used to off-set borrowing. Investments were mainly with banks, building societies and money market funds, but £2m was invested with Leeds City Council for one month.
Underspending on capital programmes resulted in reduced borrowing by £8.2m and increasing investments by £11m.