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Finance report shows almost £4 million funding gap due to covid

Published Monday 21 December, 2020
Last updated on Monday 21 December, 2020

Swale Borough Council’s most recent finance report shows how the council is coping with a nearly £4 million gap in this year’s funding.

The finance report for the second quarter of 2020 was discussed at last week’s cabinet meeting (16 Dec), and shows a predicted gap of £3,890,000 in expenditure costs compared with the agreed budget for this year.

Cllr Roger Truelove, leader of the council, said:

“The finance report for the second quarter of this year is showing a predicted gap of almost £4 million compared to the annual budget that was agreed before the covid pandemic hit.

“This gap is owing to a loss of income from areas such as car parks, and an inevitable increase in costs such as helping those experiencing homelessness and to keep leisure centres afloat while they’re closed.

“Added to these issues is a loss of income from our share of council tax payments and business rates.

“Thankfully we have received several tranches of support from central government to help us bridge the gap.

“The government has listened carefully to local government and, at this stage, the level of funding we have received will enable us to balance the current year’s spending, so long as this second wave does not severely increase the levels of expenditure and losses that we have currently provided for.

“We’re in a better position than many others because we have not over indulged in speculative property developments in the hope of generating extra income and we will continue to moderate our finances to minimise any further shortfall caused by this pandemic.”

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