Government Grants put Council Finances on Sound Footing

The Council’s Governance & Audit Committee reviewed Colchester Borough Council’s end-of-year financial out-turn, approving the draft accounts for 2020-21 for public consultation and comment.

Government Grants put the Council’s finances on a sound footing to start the current civic year under led by a new Conservative / Independent Coalition.

There were three significant features to the 2021 accounts:

The first was the loss of Council income of £7.7m, mainly due to the impact of Coronavirus on key income earning services such as: parking, sport & leisure, commercial & investment properties and museums.

The second is the really good news that, due to generosity of the Conservative Government, the Council received £8.9m of additional Coronavirus Government support, which more than offset the fall in income and trading losses.

The third point relates to the use of the Council’s reserves. The budget for 2020-21 assumed that £1m would be required from the Council’s reserves to balance the books.

Government generosity in Grants to Colchester meant it was necessary only to charge to reserves the overspend of £380k, incurred by the previous LibDem/Labour Council, rather than the full £1m.