I'm pleased to say that we are making progress in tackling our forecast in-year overspend of £46.4 million, however, we are still in a challenging position and we must continue to do all that we can in the second part of the financial year to reduce the overspend further.
As I explained in September, we are not alone in facing these financial challenges. Many other local authorities are in similar situations as financial pressures are greater than ever experienced before.
Our forecast overspend has now been reduced to £33 million following the introduction of strict cost control measures, including:
- freezing recruitment except for essential jobs, and reducing the use of agency staff
- reducing overtime
- no non-essential conferences, travel or training
- reducing print, IT equipment and stationery spending
- only carrying out health and safety repairs on properties
- where expenditure is non-essential, ceasing or delaying procurement for supplies and services and postponing projects still in the planning stage
These measures remain in place and your individual contribution to cutting costs is vital. Please continue to consider everything that your service does and share any suggestions you have for ways to reduce spend with your line manager. Even small savings can add up to something big so please think carefully about how you can contribute.
I remain confident that by working together we can overcome these serious financial issues, but I realise that this can be a worrying time for some. Please speak to your manager if you have concerns and make use of our employee wellbeing support if you need it.
The work to tackle the in-year overspend is running alongside planning for next year's budget. You will have seen that last week we launched our Your Council Your Voice consultation so if you are a Derbyshire resident, I encourage you to share your views on our services and budget.
I will continue to keep you informed of our financial situation over the coming months.