Council begins financial year with underspend

What the garden looked like before

Good news from the Town Hall. Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s Cabinet meeting heard last week that the authority has started the financial year in the black.

Delivering the report, Head of Finance and Procurement Jane Fineman told the Cabinet that the net expenditure on services in Quarter 1 (April-June) was £2.238million – £281,000 less than had been budgeted.

The announcement was welcomed by the Council Leader, David Jukes, who insisted that underspends like these were less than ordinary:

“There are lots of councils, even in Kent, that would envy a finance report like this, let me assure you,” he said.

“When I see some of my colleagues [from other councils], they tell me that theirs are either delayed or over budget, so well done here.”

Ms Fineman was pleased to reveal the promising numbers, adding that Quarter 1 is normally when the council establishes that something has been missed from the budget.

However, this year ‘nothing had been highlighted so far’.

The departments most significantly under budget this quarter were Environment and Street Scene (£108,000) and Planning (£46,000).

This has allowed the finance team to anticipate net expenditure for the whole year to be £13.598million – £50,000 under budget.

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