AN UPDATED finance report reveals coronavirus would’ve cost Slough Borough Council (SBC) over £14.5 million if not for grants.

In the revenue budget monitoring report, published by the council’s finance officers, it shows SBC’s financial position from April to June 2020 and the estimated pressures it faces caused by the pandemic.

It states the council would’ve seen an overspend of £14.651 million – but SBC has confirmed it will receive a £9 million Covid-19 grant and a provisional grant of over £3.5 million to cancel out this pressure.

This totals £12.708 million, while the forecasted year end position now stands at an estimated overspend of £1.943 million.

During the pandemic, SBC has seen an increase of client numbers in adult social care by five per cent above normal rate, additional support for care providers, and loss of income – which has resulted in an estimated overspend of nearly £8 million in the adults and communities sector.

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Approximately £6.5 million of that sum is directly or indirectly due to coronavirus.

Children, learning, and skills has been forecasted to see a £1.128 million overspend and the Slough Children’s Services Trust is to see £1.572 million in Covid-19 pressures – which officers say it is ‘a reflection of increasing numbers of children looked after’.

Officers have said they will work to reduce these pressures by identifying additional savings – but could use SBC’s reserves – which stand at £16.320 million.

If the reserves were used, they would be reduced to £14.377 million.

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SBC agreed to find nearly £8 million worth of savings in this year’s budget but officers have found 61 per cent of savings are now deemed ‘unachievable’ due to pressures caused by the pandemic.

So far, two per cent of target savings have been identified with 37 per cent of savings expected to be achieved by the end of the financial year.

This report will be presented to councillors at next Monday’s (September 14) online cabinet meeting.