Thursday 16 August 2018 / 2:11 PM Andrew Gwynne / Local Government

Another Tory Council pushed into crisis due to funding cuts – Andrew Gwynne

Another Tory Council has been pushed into crisis due to funding cuts – Andrew Gwynne

Tory-run Torbay Council has become the fourth Tory council to face financial crisis after it was forced to announce an immediate moratorium on all non-urgent expenditure. This follows similar difficulties at three other Tory-run councils; Northamptonshire, Surrey and Somerset.

Torbay council’s first quarter budget monitoring report forecast an in-year overspend of more than £2.8m due to a substantial increase in the number of looked-after children, which has increased by 20% since November 2017. Other budget pressures include larger than expected numbers of agency staff in key services such as planning.

Chief Executive, Steve Parrock, told councillors: “Even if an activity or contract is budgeted for, the task or expenditure may be postponed or cancelled if the work is deemed not urgent by the chief finance officer or myself.”

Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said:

“This is what happens when you create an £8 billion hole in Local Government funding.

“With yet another Tory-run Council at risk, the Government need to finally wake up to the consequences of their austerity programme.

“The Government needs to finally deliver for vulnerable children and their families, before this crisis turns into a catastrophe. Local Government cannot be allowed to collapse on this Government’s watch.”