Our provisional outturn position 2021/2022
Cllr Chris Whitbread, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Corporate Affairs, said: “Despite another extremely challenging financial year for local authorities, I am proud of our ongoing efforts to balance our finances, while continuing to invest in the future of the county.
“It is no secret that the effect of the pandemic has and continues to make financial forecasting uncertain and volatile. When taken at face value, the provisional outturn position for 2021/2022 shows a 1.7% under spend against our total budget.
“However, this under spend must be viewed within the context of the current economic situation, which is unprecedented. With inflation nearly at 10% nationally, the short, medium and long-term outlook remains incredibly challenging – not just in Essex but across the country. As a result, I am proactively moving forward with plans to use last year’s under spend to create a new General Risk Reserve, which will allow us to mitigate risk of further inflation in the future.
“The money generated by increasing Council Tax for 2022/2023 is not enough to cover increasing costs alone. We must therefore ensure that this and last year’s under spend are used to achieve maximum benefit over the coming years, whilst also ensuring we allocate resources carefully, so we can continue to deliver key services and support the people of Essex.
“Where we have seen a under spend in some of our key services, such as highways, due to delays in work and supplies caused by the pandemic, we will be carrying this money forward to support delivery of this work in the future.
“I am confident that our strong track record of financial management will continue to serve us well. We remain as committed as ever to delivering the strategic priorities we set out in ‘Everyone’s Essex’ and achieving our vision of a county where everyone can thrive.”
The full 2021/22 provisional outturn report is available as part of this month's cabinet papers.