Troubled Slough Borough Council spent £14 million more than it budgeted for last year – and is at risk of going £11 million over its budget this year, documents have revealed.

‘Immediate’ action needs to be taken to try and bring down costs to scale back the predicted overspend, the report says. It says that most of the extra money went on rocketing social services costs.

A report to council leaders says: “The council is facing a challenging financial situation and the focus of moving towards a sustainable financial position is urgent and essential.”

Some £12 million of the extra spending went on adult social care services. The council says ‘almost all of this’ is extra spending on care placements and packages ‘due to increased demand.’

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And the impact of overspends on social and homelessness services has added an extra £11 million of unbudgeted-for costs to the current year’s spending as well.

The rocketing costs of social services is putting pressure on council budgets all over the country – as both prices and demand for services has increased.

Council documents say: “National economic factors have impacted local government, such as inflation and the continuing increase in demand for services, in particular for Homelessness and Adult social care. These pressures created significant overspends.”

Slough Borough Council went effectively bankrupt in 2021, leading the government to send in commissioners to oversee council spending. Since then it has been trying to balance its books by selling off property and using the proceeds to pay for day-do-day spending.

Council officers say that effective management of its finances is ‘critical’ to its recovery and getting it to a point where it no longer has to rely on asset sales.

But in addition to the increased social care costs, the council has not been able to raise money from property as fast as it hoped.

The council had hoped to raise £400 million from asset sales between March 2022 and the end of March this year. But instead it has raised just over half that - £223.5 million.

It says its target of £600 million by March 2027 has ‘proved unrealistic’ due to the properties it has to sell, adding that the timing of some sales has been pushed back.

Documents also say the unexpected resignation of its top finance boss Adele Taylor in April had caused ‘a degree of uncertainty’.

A ‘refreshed’ strategy for council spending covering up until April 2028 – known as a ‘medium term financial plan – is set to be put to council leaders next month. The most recent one was only approved by the council in March this year.

Slough Borough Council’s cabinet – its group of leading councillors – is set to discuss the overspend on Monday, June 17.