Almost £1m underspent by Horsham District Council

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Horsham District Council announced an underspend of £912,000 over the last financial year in a council meeting yesterday.

Of the total, £377,000 was accounted to operational underspending and £535,000 to ‘unanticipated’ income from grants, claims and contracts during the year.

This included a VAT receipt from HMRC worth £121,000 and grants from central government totalling £224,000, according to the meeting’s report papers.

Chief Executive Tom Crowley said at the meeting: “We had the expectation of underspending £30m in expenditure and the income raised from tax and grants was around £42m, so to have a variance of £377,000 is not bad going really.”

The underspend for salaries was £423,000, with 82 out of 488 posts left vacant at some point throughout the year.

The Chief Executive said these vacancies were filled by ‘a lot of’ agency staff and this did not affect the underspend significantly.

He added: “We continue at the Corporate Management Team to ensure posts are not being held vacant unnecessarily.”

Income from temporary accommodation rose by £104,000 as a result of higher demand.

Council underspending rose by £438,000 in the fourth quarter alone, during which it received the grants and extra income.

For a breakdown of the expenditure against the budget, see page 92 in the council report.