MORE than half a million pounds is forecast to be overspent by Argyll and Bute Council in redundancy packages, a report has revealed.

The authority is also in danger of facing a further £172,000 bill for a possible VAT misdeclaration, along with £200,000 of unachievable procurement savings.

A report for Thursday’s meeting of the council’s policy and resources committee states that its projected overspend for 2019/20 is nearly £2.5million.

This has increased by £400,000 since the committee’s last meeting in December.

The report also reveals that overspends on maintaining ageing vehicles, the services of a street lighting consultant, and overtime on waste collection in Helensburgh and Lomond, are expected to cost the council £326,000 more than planned.

READ MORE: Helensburgh parents' challenge to council over cuts plan: 'Show us you'll keep our children safe'

Members of the policy and resources committee will debate the report at its meeting on Thursday, February 20.

The report said: “There is a forecast overspend for 2019/20 of £2.490m as at the end of December 2019.

“The main overspend is in relation to social work, where there is a forecast overspend of £1.310m due to a combination of forecast slippage on the delivery of agreed savings and also a high demand for services.

“Within the remit of executive director Kirsty Flanagan, there is a forecast overspend of £0.349m. There are overspends resulting from a loss of income in public conveniences, loss of car parking income, loss of planning income, additional cost for street lighting consultant, additional glass collection costs and increased costs of essential repairs on vehicles.

READ MORE: Scrap Gaelic signs to save cash, says Argyll and Bute public in budget survey

“These are offset by additional income from DPE (decriminalised parking enforcement) and a planned underspend on roads maintenance.

“Within the remit of executive director Douglas Hendry, there is an underspend of £0.191m resulting from an insurance saving on NPDO (non-profit distributing organisation) schools.

“Within central budgets there is an overspend of £0.876m in relation to exit packages (£0.504m), unachievable procurement savings (£0.200m) and a potential VAT misdeclaration (£0.172m).

“Within local tax, there is a shortfall of income of £0.146m against budget. A review of the overall council tax budget will be carried out to ensure the base budget is at the correct level for next year.”

The report also states that the council currently has a year to date underspend of over £1.8m, and gives more detail on the social work overspend.

READ MORE: School support staff and crossing patrols under threat in Argyll and Bute savings plan

That figure established by the integration joint board (IJB) of the area’s health and social care partnership, has gradually decreased from £2.3m in June to £1.3m in December.

Head of financial services Kirsty Flanagan added: “This improvement month on month gives some assurance that actions by management and agreed within the recovery plan are making a difference and are bringing the outturn down.

“It remains to be seen as to what further reductions can be made to the forecast outturn but there are still outstanding actions to be delivered. I will continue to liaise closely with the IJB’s head of finance and transformation (Judy Orr) on this issue.

“The comments above don’t take into consideration the most significant risk affecting the forecast outturn position on the health side, and that is the SLA (service level agreement) for Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

“A decision was taken at the IJB to reject the increase and the current forecast outturn reflects this position.

READ MORE: Glasgow health chiefs stand firm in Argyll and Bute cash row

"If this position is not accepted by Greater Glasgow and Clyde then there is a risk that the outturn overspend could increase by up to £1.534m, impacting on health.

“There remains a significant estimated budget gap in future years and officers are currently developing options to reduce the gap, however, to date insufficient options have been identified to bridge the estimated gap.”

READ MORE: Click here for all the latest news headlines from around Helensburgh and Lomond