A huge overspend of £8.6 million is forecast for Buckinghamshire Council, according to a bleak update on its financial future.

It comes as the unitary authority has been plunged into “significant financial pressures” due to continued increase in demand and complexity of need in adult social care and children’s social care.

The £8.6 million net overspend on the unitary authority’s revenue budget for the 2023/24 financial year came in an update for the second quarter of the financial year presented to Cabinet this week.

The council said its predicted overspend was primarily due to “pressures” in health and wellbeing, education and children’s services from demand and market insufficiency issues.

READ MORE: Cost of living warm hubs return to Bucks this winter

It added that these were “coupled with pressures in housing and homelessness, and regulatory services in temporary accommodation budgets and transport budgets”.

The £8.6m overspend is the result of an overall deficit of £15.2m (£14m last quarter) in the council’s investment portfolios offset by a £6.6m (£5.7m last quarter) surplus in the area of “corporate and funding”.

The council also said it had implemented action plans to address financial pressures, “with a view to urgently bringing budgets back into line”.

The council said £30.4m of savings and income targets were already incorporated into the approved 2023-24 revenue budgets.

Buckinghamshire Council Leader Martin Tett said: “I’ve been stressing very openly for some time that the council’s finances are under severe pressure.

"This is due to increased demand or costs for four main services we provide to the most vulnerable: temporary accommodation if you are homeless; Children’s Services, particularly child safeguarding; caring for elderly or disabled adults and providing home to school transport for children with Special Needs.  

"This is the same for local councils across the country – those who provide these services are all experiencing varying degrees of significant financial pressure. I do want to stress that Buckinghamshire is not in the situation that some other councils like Birmingham are, who are unable to balance their budget. Through careful management and financial controls, we are currently able to cover these increased costs.

"I also need to stress that these financial pressures come on top of the £75million of savings and additional income we’ve successfully delivered through becoming a single unitary council.

"We are working very hard to find further savings within the organisation and will need to make big savings across all the other services we provide. These are inevitably the very services that most people use and value. I am expecting some very tough and difficult decisions will have to be made."