Raid on Norfolk County Council reserves after £6m overspend on services for vulnerable adults

Harold Bodmer, executive director of adult social services for Norfolk County Council.

Harold Bodmer, executive director of adult social services for Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

Council bosses are set to raid their reserves to tackle a £6m budget overspend on providing services to vulnerable adults in Norfolk.

Harold Bodmer, executive director of adult social services at Norfolk County Council, will tell county councillors later this month that his department is likely to have overspent by just under £6.1m by the end of the financial year.

And he will tell them that the service will need to dip into its reserves of £13.3m to take out £1.7m to meet its commitments and a further £3.8m to mitigate the overspend.

Mr Bodmer will tell the county council's adult social care committee that the biggest pressure has come from the purchase of care budget being overspent by £8.5m.

This budget is used to fund packages of care for Norfolk people, including personal budgets.

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He said part of the reason for the overspend was that savings the council had planned to make in 2013/14 and 2014/15 had only been partially achieved, with progress in moving people from residential care to living in the community 'slower than expected'.

Mr Bodmer, in a report which will come before councillors, said a number of 'recovery actions' had been put in place to counter the overspend, which he said would save £1.5m in 2014/15.

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He said: 'The department is aiming for a balanced position at the year end and is working to identify further savings that could be made and to review any money that does not appear to be committed at this stage of the financial year and which could be used to offset overspends elsewhere.'

The county council last year agreed to make £189m of savings by 2018, but admitted in September that it still had to find another £13m of savings.

Consultation over those savings has been taking place. Proposals include cutting library service staffing costs by £60,000; increasing income from museums and cutting staff to save £88,000; charging for car parking at the Gressenhall Workhouse and Farm, to bring in £15,000 and charging for entry to the Ancient House Museum in Thetford in winter to generate £3,000.

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