Cash strapped council left with £1.2 million

Scarborough Town Hall
Scarborough Town Hall

A £1.2 million surplus has been left propping up Scarborough’s poverty pleading local authority as the council reaches its year end.

A report will be presented to Scarborough Council’s Cabinet next week outlining a year end surplus of £1,227,000.

Financial chiefs at the authority say a number of measures have resulted in the council staying in the green following the 2012/13 financial year.

On top of salary savings and an unexpected one off central government grant, saving strategies for 2013/14 were brought in a year earlier all resulting in the extra cash.

However the council’s officers say the surplus was forecast, and in reality only equates to 1 per cent of the council’s overall expenditure of £100 million for the year.

Nick Edwards, director of Business Support at the council said: “We are aware that reports of surplus funds at the end of a council’s financial year can, in these austere times, raise concerns with our taxpayers, so we are keen to explain our financial management processes and how the surplus for the 2012/13 financial year has been reached.

“We are very conscious of future budget saving requirements and we therefore accelerated the delivery of savings in the last financial year to ensure that they were in place for the start of 2013/14.

“With the constant pressure of having to do more with less, we have to manage our resources extremely efficiently to ensure that we can set a fine balance between investing in key priorities for the benefit of our taxpayers and the long term sustainability of the council.”

Of the surplus, £807,000 will be invested in a number of “funding priorities” which include an investigative study into Scarborough’s Foreshore Wall, new outdoor lighting in Filey, Whitby Church Street flood alleviation works, and coast protection projects.

Cabinet will be asked to approve that the remaining surplus of £420,000 be transferred to the council’s General Fund Reserve to provide a contingency against future risks.