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Harrow Borough Council Independent Labour administration attacked over latest budget figures
The Independent Labour administration has been attacked after figures reveal the council is forecast to overspend its budget by more than £2million.
Figures released ahead of this week’s cabinet meeting on Thursday shows Harrow Borough Council is projected to pass its budget for the 2013/2014 year by £2.2million.
The Harrow Labour group has attacked Independent Labour for its handling of the finances after earlier this year claiming it left a ‘golden legacy’ of £10.8m underspent before the split in the party led to the formation of the breakaway group.
Cllr Sachin Shah, Labour’s shadow member for finance said: “This report shows what an absolute mess the Tory-Independent coalition are making of council tax payer’s money. The people of Harrow deserve better.
“This report has confirmed that this coalition has reversed Labour’s ‘people not place’ budget.
"That principle said that Labour will always invest in looking after those most in need, but this is no longer happening.
“This cannot go on. Whoever is in charge of the council, they need to get a grip and sort out the mess they have created.”
The report is a review of capital spending for the first quarter and gives a prediction of how the council’s finances will appear at the end of the financial year.
The Labour group has also raised concerns over the report which it says indicates money they had set aside to help people hit by welfare reform will be spent elsewhere.
Labour group leader Cllr David Perry said: “This money was set aside to help Harrow residents, but it appears this might now be used to fill the black hole created by the Tory-Independent coalition’s financial mismanagement.
“This will be a kick in the teeth for those who will be struggling to heat their homes this winter.
“However Labour’s ability to manage the books may well come to save the day, months after leaving power.
“This is because savings to the budget will be made this year because Labour also underspent the capital budget, but the latest figures do not yet show this saving.”
The Harrow Times has contacted Harrow Council about the figures and is awaiting a reply.
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