South Yorkshire Police has budget underspend of £2m – despite council tax rise

South Yorkshire Police has £2 million left unspent in its annual budget- despite a council tax increase earlier this year.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 1:22 pm

The South Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable’s budget came to a £2.6m underspend, which has been put down to a pension deficit, unspent Covid grant funding and unfilled staff vacancies.

The council tax precept which funds the force was raised by £15.00 for a Band D property, meaning those in a band D property now pay £213.04 per year.

Sophie Abbott, Chief Finance Officer at the PCC’s office, told a meeting that a Covid grant of £1.46 million has not been budgeted for, but will be spent.

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South Yorkshire Police.

Ms Abbott added that the £1.46m Covid grant, which was received after the year end hadn’t been budgeted for.

“We’ve got more money than we were planning on, but that will be spent”, she added.

£148,000 of the forecast underspend is down to employee costs, including a “pension lump sum deficit”, and “vacancies, particularly within Atlas Court”.

Almost half a million has been saved on gas and electric bills as staff have worked from home.

There is currently £64.96 million in police ‘reserves’, the cash available for emergencies.

Ms Abbot told the meeting that there “are some uncertainties” with legacy issues, and whether the force receives Home Office support to fund investigations into Hillsborough, Operation Stovewood, and CSE civil claims.

Hillsborough, Operation Stovewood and CSE civil claims are expected to cost the force more that £6 million.