Fears raised on £5.4m overspend

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A FORMER Portsmouth City Council leader has raised his concern over a predicted £5.4m overspend by the authority.

Lib Dem group leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘I’m quite worried about this.

‘This is saying that budgets are not being managed properly. It’s a big issue.

‘They will have to go and find £5m or will have to make even more cuts to balance the budget.’

The big areas of overspend for 2015/16 were in adult social services, which is predicted to be £2.9m over budget, and children’s social services at £2.3m. The overall budget is £168m.

At a cabinet meeting of the council it was revealed there were plans in the pipeline to tackle the overspend.

A council spokesman said that there were plans in place to ‘rectify the children’s social care position’ and schemes are being developed to improve the overspend in the adult social care services.

The spokesman added that the council had some contingencies to minimise any negative impacts.

Council leader Donna Jones added: ‘I think this is a reflection on the strain on social care across the whole of the local government. It’s challenging.’