A new report published on 13 November, outlining Nottingham City Council’s latest financial position, highlights that a significant gap remains in the authority’s budget due to issues affecting councils across the country, including an increased demand for children’s and adults’ social care, rising homelessness presentations and the impact of inflation.
The report to the council’s Executive Board on 21 November says that, despite budget control measures put in place over the last few months, the funding gap remains with an in-year overspend of £23.3 million forecast.
The council has stressed it is not “bankrupt” or insolvent, and that the organisation has sufficient financial resources at hand to meet all of its current obligations, to pay staff, suppliers and grant recipients.
However, due to the forecasted overspend, the Council’s Corporate Director for Finance and Resources and Section 151 Officer, Ross Brown, will need to consider the appropriate next steps for the Authority, which will include a further assessment of the Council’s ability to deliver a balanced budget in year.
If this assessment concludes that it is not feasible for the Council to balance its budget, consideration of the issuance of a report under Section 114(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 will need to be made.
Should such a report be issued, Full Council will meet to consider the report within 21 days of the issue date and an immediate prohibition period would be implemented.
In this period, the spending controls already in place would be being further tightened, with the practical impact being that all spending that is not already contractually committed or required to deliver statutory duties at the minimum level, or otherwise agreed by the Section 151 Officer, would be stopped.
The council noted that Senior Officers and Members are committed to continuing to work with the Improvement and Assurance Board and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to put the council on a stable financial footing for the future.