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Royal Borough leader confirms council not facing 'financial peril'

James Bagley. Local Democracy Reporter

Royal Borough leader confirms council not facing 'financial peril'

The leader of the Royal Borough has clarified the council is not one of the 12 English local authorities reportedly facing financial peril.

According to media reports, at least a dozen councils are in rescue talks with the Ministry of Housing, Community, and Local Government 'in or around a section 114' – equivalent to bankruptcy.

Financial losses and a decline in revenue streams laid waste by the pandemic is the main cause for igniting the conversations with central Government.

The names of the local authorities were not revealed.

However, the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM), councillor Andrew Johnson (Con, Hurley & Walthams), clarified via social media the council is not one of the 12 referenced in the media who are facing financial peril.

In a Facebook post, Cllr Johnson said: “RBWM is far from financial crisis as many would have us believe.

“We have proposed a balanced budget for 2021/22, which is reflective of the financial climate facing all local authorities and the UK’s public finances, and are very much still on target to finish this year with £3m+ underspend.

“We have genuinely consulted upon our proposals for the first time and listened to the views received. Hence we decided last week not to progress with the proposal to charge for rural car parks.”

Croydon Council became the second local authority in 20 years to issue a section 114 notice last November, following its use by Northamptonshire County Council in 2018.

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