£20m black hole in Council’s finances

Cheshire East has not only managed to secure the terminal decline of Macclesfield town centre, it’s also contrived to overspend (our money) to the tune of £20 million.

Details of the massive shortfall were spelled out to councillors by leader Sam Corcoran (Lab) at the latest full council meeting.

Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of the council

Cllr Corcoran said the council’s “risk register” shows eight serious issues likely to have “a major impact”. “I have never seen the risk register in this state and nearly all of those risks are caused by issues outside of our control.”

“One of those red-rated risks is council funding.” The predicted financial out-turn after the first quarter was an £11.6m deficit, due to inflationary pressures and increased demand on services, mainly social care.

Cllr Corcoran said: “The forecast out-turn after quarter two, thanks to the efforts of officers, has come down by £3m, but a lot of that is due to one-off actions.” He said even if Cheshire East puts council tax up by the maximum permitted next year ‘with inflation running at 11 per cent even, a five per cent increase is a real terms cut of six per cent’.

“So the budget for next year, will have to find at least £20m of savings or cuts to services and all this at a time when the risks Cheshire East Council is facing and the demands on our services are greater than they have ever been,” said the council leader.

He said all committees have been asked to find savings to address the in-year inflationary pressures and to balance the budget for 2023/24. “This will be a real test of the committee system,” he told councillors.

So there you have it, as Macclesfield town centre falls into decline the guys at Sandbach continue to play fast and loose with our money.

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