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Cheshire East Council asks for cash to stave off bankruptcy

Cheshire East Council asks for cash to stave off bankruptcy

Cheshire East Council has asked the government for “exceptional financial support” to avoid having to declare itself effectively bankrupt.

The authority, which has faces significant financial pressures, has asked for an extra £17.6m.

It said it needs money because of costs related to the cancellation of HS2 and special educational needs.

The council said the support would reduce the “imminent risk” of a Section 114 notice.

A Section 114 notice is a warning a council issues when it expects its spending to exceed the money it has available.

Cheshire East Council is forecasting a £13m overspend in its current financial year.

It has £14.1m in its general reserves, and has warned that it may have to use that money to cover shortfalls.

Like many local authorities, it has faced rising costs in areas such as adult social care and children’s services.

But Cheshire East’s leadership has also raised concerns about SEND funding and costs incurred by the council related to the now-axed northern leg of HS2 coming to Crewe.

It has introduced a number of cost saving measures, including charges for garden waste collectionscuts to library opening hours and a decision to close its headquarters.

The council is also set to face further challenges in its next financial year and is proposing measures such as temporary tip closures, cutting staffing costs and asking parish councils to contribute to libraries and leisure services.

In a statement, the council said the extra cash would help it spread the cost of the extra financial pressures, free up reserves and reduce “the imminent risk of a Section114 (S114) notice”.

The statement added the money would also help towards the cost of services and a project to change the way the council is run and managed.

(Story and image courtesy of BBC News)