Herts County Council fails to deliver on key projects as capital expenditure slips again

December 3, 2021 4:26 PM
Originally published by Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats

At the Hertfordshire County Council Cabinet Panel for Resources and Performance on 1 December it
was revealed that a further £46m of slippage in the capital budget occurred in the second quarter of
the financial year. Added to the slippage of £89m in the first quarter, this amounts to £135m in six
months and represents 37% of the capital budget for 2021/22 agreed in February 2021.

Key services affected by the delays include Schools and Children's Services where £12m of slippage
in expenditure is resulting in further delays to the promised capital projects to support children with
Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities (SEND), adding pressure to the slow delivery of school
expansions and deferring repair and maintenance programs. In Adult Care Services, £5.5m has been
reprogrammed thereby delaying the delivery of much-needed Extra Care Housing which would
provide for independent living with assistance for those who require it.

Opposition Spokesperson for Resources and Performance, Cllr Sally Symington, said, "Although it is
commendable for Herts County Council to have an ambitious capital spending program, it is
misleading to residents year after year to promise so much and deliver so little. We're just six
months into the financial year and the budget has slipped by over a third. Either the capital budgets
are deliberately over-optimistic with a built-in underspend, or the council doesn't have the resources
in place to deliver on its promises. Either way it is failing its residents. We should be working to do
better and deliver for the people of Hertfordshire."