By Local Democracy Reporter Trevor Bevins
THE Dorset councillor heading up budget planning says he is disappointed by the government’s latest grant aid to the council.
Cllr Gary Suttle says the authority was expecting about £4million extra, but only received £1.3million out of an extra £1billion pounds set aside for local councils to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
He described the Dorset Council share as “a slight disappointment” at a recent Cabinet meeting.
Cllr Suttle said that, despite this, the county’s financial position had improved with a projected £43million overspend now likely to be around £27million or less by the end of the financial year.
The coronavirus pandemic has so far cost the authority about £60million in additional spending, although government grants have helped to meet much of the additional costs.
The authority’s position has been buffered by holding about £28million it uncommitted reserves, although much of that may have to be used to support services.
Cllr Suttle said financial planning had now once again been thrown into doubt by the new lockdown, although he was confident the council’s officers would be able to manage the council’s finances to overcome the situation.