FINANCE chiefs at Cheshire West and Chester Council are forecasting a £2m overspend in the council's overall £750m budget.
The figure was revealed in a report to the Tory-controlled executive on the council's financial performance during the first nine months of the current financial year.
Although there are £3m plus overspends in three of the council's biggest services – adult social care and health, children and young people and community and environment – measures being taken are expected to bring in the small overspend and a £3m boost to the council's coffers.
These are expected to reach £22.5m by the end of the year.
Deputy leader of the council and finance supremo Cllr Les Ford (Con, Frodsham and Helsby) said the position was broadly the same as it had been three months ago.
Labour finance spokesman Cllr Justin Madders (Central and Westminster) argues most of the measures being taken by the council ‘are short-term ways of tackling the deficit’.
“This report does not give me any comfort there is a long-term strategy in place,” he said.
Council leader Cllr Mike Jones (Con, Broxton) insisted the council is already 'eight to 12 months ahead' of where it needs to be and is 'well on the way to achieving the savings we need to make'.
The increased reserves 'will allow us to go through where we can make savings, cutting out waste, making ourselves more efficient and stop doing those things councils should not be doing'.
He described the overspend, estimated at 0.3%, as ‘a phenomenal achievement if we get there’.