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Guildhall ends year with almost a million to spare
4:00pm Monday 25th June 2012 in News
Worcester City Council is to use part of a budget surplus of more than £900,000 to safeguard itself against troubled times in the future.
The council, which has made £1.4 million in cuts over the last two years, ended up £907,000 in the black in 2011/12.
In a bid ensure the council’s finances stay on track amid the worldwide economic gloom, the cabinet has agreed to channel £250,000 of that cash into its general fund.
The general fund acts as a back-up in case key areas of income like parking do not perform as well as expected, and generally stays around the £1 million mark.
The move will top it up to £1.25 million, with an in-house report saying the safeguard is a response to the “uncertain” outlook.
When the economy is doing badly, everything from parking charges to leisure centre income tends to fall.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, the leader of Worcester City Council, said: “Because of the uncertainty over local government finance, this is a sensible move. What we have to do is make sure that at times like these, we don’t weaken our resources and these are the right steps to make.”
The rest of the cash is being channelled in various directions, with £50,000 going to parking infrastructure such as machine maintenance and £250,000 on plans for a new swimming pool at Perdiswell.
The remainder has been split between other funds put aside for capital schemes and any future efficiency savings the council explores.
The council wants to save about £850,000 by 2016/17, on top of other cuts which are in progress, but has not taken into account any further funding reductions.
Coun Geraghty said: “Having extra resilience is the best thing we can do to prepare for the future.”
Ahead of a review into pensions financing taking place later this year, £230,000 has also been committed to the pensions reserve.