Cheshire East Council has released accounts for the 2017/18 financial year – and they confirm that the authority remains in a healthy financial position.
Despite a challenging year where, nationally, local authorities faced the combined effects of increased demand for services and a reduction in government funding, Cheshire East maintained general reserves at a balanced level for 2017/18.
This meant that the council was able to continue to deliver much-needed services within a challenging budgetary position and make some significant improvements.
The strength of the council’s financial position, which is currently being audited, has enabled the authority to deliver some key achievements, including;
● School exam results being second best in the North West and above the national average;
● Launching a new information and support service aimed at carers called the Cheshire East Carers and Young Carers’ Hub;
● The opening of the environmental hub in Middlewich;
● National ‘Green Flag’ awards for the borough’s parks, including Tatton Park and Queens Park in Crewe;
● Collaboratively working with central government and Network Rail to develop the HS2 hub station; and
● Winning and being shortlisted for more awards than ever before.
Cheshire East had a capital expenditure in the last financial year of £88.2m, which comprised key schemes such as a highways investment programme spend of £10m, an £8.5m spend on a schools improvement programme and £3.5m on a complete finance and HR business software solution called ‘Best4Business’ which will further improve council efficiencies.
The borough’s unemployment rate of 3.1 per cent of economically active people aged 16 and above, is considerably lower than the national and North West average of 4.4 per cent. It equates to approximately 5,600 of our 377,100 residents.
Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “The last year hasn’t been easy in terms of the economic climate but Cheshire East residents can be assured that the financial position of this authority is very sound.
“To be able to report an unchanged bank balance reserves of £10.3m, despite the national challenges we have faced, is a credit to the officers delivering this work daily.”
The draft accounts are available for public inspection up to 12 July. To see the full accounts, visit the Cheshire East Council website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk