Scarborough Council predicted to make budget surplus thanks to planning money

Scarborough Town Hall. PIC: Richard Ponter
Scarborough Town Hall. PIC: Richard Ponter

Scarborough Council is currently predicted to make a budget surplus for its end of year accounts thanks to a timely injection of cash.

Councillors have been warned, however, that the success is only possible due to one-off planning payments which would have otherwise seen the council slip into deficit.

The financial picture was laid out at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting as the members discussed the authority’s first-quarter financial monitoring report for 2019/20.

The council’s accounts manager, Neil Hughes, told members that the council was projected to have a £60,000 surplus despite the setting of an “extremely challenging budget”.

He said: “The report outlines a projected year-end surplus at this stage of £60,000 but this does include a surplus of £150,000 from planning fee income and this has been driven by large scale developments happening across the borough.

“Without that surplus from planning fee income, this report would actually be showing an in-year deficit at this stage.”

The council also received a boost following a decision by the North and West Yorkshire Business Rates Pool to give the council £165,000 to reimburse it for the cost of hosting the Tour de Yorkshire cycling event in 2019 as well as contributions it has made to the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership and Welcome to Yorkshire.

The contribution to the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race covered the hosting fee the council paid to the organisers ASO and Welcome to Yorkshire, the operational cost of staffing and providing security and temporary toilets will come out of the authority’s budget.

As part of the review, the cabinet voted to accept a £17,010 grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to be used to improve parks and green spaces across the borough.