Yorkshire council could be 'in trouble' after it runs out of reserves

People living in Sheffield have been warned the services they rely on could be hit by "major" budget cuts, after the council exhausted its reserves.

Sheffield City Council had set aside £25m which could be used to balance the books, but all of that money has been spent.

Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of Sheffield Liberal Democrats, said: “Basically we are now in the situation that without major reductions in spends or finding different ways of generating income we are going to be in trouble.

“After this £25m we don’t have any other unallocated cash reserves to cover this year’s overspend.

Sheffield City Council had set aside £25m which could be used to balance the books, but all of that money has been spent.

“We are not even halfway through and the alarm bells are being sounded in a very coded way by a senior finance officer who basically warned the committee.”

He also said there were £15m worth of savings offered last year, but they were rejected by the Labour-Green coalition which runs the council.

The councillor said those savings, which include cutting expensive home packages for social care, are likely to be on the table again soon.

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Finance Director Ryan Keyworth said it "is not an ideal place to be, to put it mildly”, when he spoke to councillors at a meeting this week.

He added: “That means the budget implementation plans for 2023/24 that we are currently developing are going to have to be far more robust and to a much higher standard in terms of the cash delivery that is expected.

“It’s quite likely that I’m going to reject some of the budget implementation plans as they come forward simply on that basis.”

Mr Keyworth said there is now a £20.4m overspend forecast for this year. This is up from £19m last month and £18m the month before.