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Barking and Dagenham Council reveals £2.9million overspend

PUBLISHED: 18:30 25 May 2016

Barking and Dagenham Council overspent by £2.9million in the last financial year

Barking and Dagenham Council overspent by £2.9million in the last financial year

Archant

Barking and Dagenham Council spent £2.9million beyond its budget in the last financial year.

Low visitor numbers at Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking were blamed for the £2.9million overspendLow visitor numbers at Abbey Leisure Centre in Barking were blamed for the £2.9million overspend

The overspend was the subject of discussion at a cabinet meeting in Barking Town Hall, which revealed the council had exceeded its budget of £151.4m at the close of the financial year on April 5.

But deputy council leader Cllr Dominic Twomey said the overspend was £5.5m lower than members expected.

“We were all aware we’d overspend in this finacial year because of a number of pressures,” he said. “We are very confident that will be under control in coming years.”

The overspend, combined with funding regeneration schemes Ambition 2020 and Growth Commission also decreased the council’s General Fund from £26m to £21.1m, meaning reduced cash reserves.

At the meeting on Tuesday last week, Cllr Bill Turner raised concerns that Abbey Leisure Centre wasn’t performing as well as the council had hoped.

The council-owned £14m centre in Bobby Moore Way, Barking, opened in March last year and Cllr Turner said visitor numbers had not met expectations.

Members also agreed to invest in a new IT system for the council’s housing department.

Cllr Twomey said the current system was not fit to help manage housing assets, applications and records.

“The IT we use is old, this is about bringing our housing IT up to date,” he said. “If we’re going to be fighting fit moving forward we need the tools.”

Strategic director Claire Symonds said the new system would merge issues applying to council and private tenants to manage maintenance and statutory compliance functions.

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