Children in care provision set to force Herts County Council budget overspend

PUBLISHED: 08:30 06 October 2019

Hertfordshire County Council has a projected overspend of £6.8million. Picture: Pexels.

Hertfordshire County Council has a projected overspend of £6.8million. Picture: Pexels.

Archant

Herts County Council looks set to overspend by £6.8million in 2019/20, based on the first three months of the financial year.

The county council - which is responsible for services such as education, social care, highways and public health - has an annual budget in excess of £800million.

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But a report to the cabinet has revealed that - based on the first financial quarter of 2019/20 - the council may not keep to its budget.

That, says the report, is largely due to the additional funding required to find placements for 'looked after' children.

If that level of overspend continues, it will use the council's entire revenue contingency fund and force it to dip into its reserves.

As of December 2018 there were 846 'looked after' children in Hertfordshire, and a further 113 unaccompanied asylum seeker children. Of those children, 128 had had three or more different placements in the 12 months to March 2019.

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