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WITH a couple of weeks to go until the 2021/22 council budget year ends, a massive surplus of £6.5 million is now being predicted.

This means that the council forecast that £273.38 million of the of £279.880 million allocation for this year will have been spent by the end of March.

Much of this is due to a glut of Welsh Government grant funding coming to Powys from the Welsh Government during the last couple of months

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s cabinet on Friday, March 11 the financial forecast for 2021/22 , as it stood on February 28 was reported.

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Finance portfolio holder Cllr Aled Davies said:

“We’ve had a lot of additional grant payments coming through.”

With the possibility of some departments overspending Finance portfolio holder.  Cllr Davies thought it “prudent” to delegate decision making over this election period to chief executive, Dr Caroline Turner alongside Jane Thomas the head of finance.

The arrangement will be in place until June, by when a new council, and cabinet will be in place.

Head of finance Jane Thomas said:

“It’s important to note as we move into the end of the (financial) year we will look to maximise the council’s financial position as best we can.

“Because of the level of risk, we’re still seeing with rising inflation and pressures in some services due to Covid-19 we’re just mindful there may be some urgent decisions needed in during the pre-election period and this outlines the delegated authority to do that.

“We will of course report everything retrospectively to cabinet and council when we move the other side of the elections.

“The position has improved from the end of quarter three, there have been a number of additional grants that have come through during this last quarter.”

Councillors unanimously approved the report.

Some of the grants that the council has received are:

£2,053,544 – to deal with social care pressures;

£1,909,224 – for education mostly to cover school revenue maintenance costs;

£1,100,827 – funding for dealing with the aftermath of the February 2020 storms;

£573,488 – to cover loss of Council Tax collection; and

£390,479 – for Waste and Recycling Services and extra costs of collection due to Covid-19.

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