Concerns over North Lincolnshire Council's use of contingency cash
Opposition councillors have attacked the use of contingency funding to cover pressures in North Lincolnshire Council's budget.
A report prepared for the latest meeting of the authority's cabinet revealed overall spending against its £128.95 million revenue budget was on target.
But the council is set to use £660,000 from its £2.48 million contingency fund to cover a variety of extra costs and balance the budget.
The report states issues to be dealt with using the contingency fund include a £144,000 increase in electricity costs and £325,000 to cover drainage works following the wet weather in June and July.
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A savings shortfall of £98,000 comes from the late implementation of a car allowance review. Also, a contingency provision of £28,000 is needed for the redundancy of a member of staff who could not be redeployed.
The remaining £95,000 comes from the retention of senior management staff for a transitional period to undertake specialist project work.
Speaking at the cabinet meeting, Councillor Len Foster, deputy leader of the opposition Labour group, criticised the ruling Conservatives for using contingency money.
He said: "The report says the council is still able to contain its spending within the budget set. The council can only contain it by using contingencies and reserves. Five months into a financial year, that is a condemnation of the way this authority is operating."
In response, Conservative council leader Councillor Liz Redfern said the authority was only five months into a 12-month budget.
And she said similar pressures had been evident in budgets prepared by the previous Labour administration.
She said: "I am explaining clearly where we are in September."