Sheffield Lib Dems slam council over budget overspend

Sheffield Liberal Democrats have criticised the council for not living within their means for the second year in a row.

The Labour-controlled council forecasts an overspend of £14.2 million this year after overspending by £19.7 million last year.

Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat party, said: “It’s their budget, they’ve passed the budget, and you have to live within your means.

“There’s no point budgeting for something and then constantly overspending.

“In the real world that doesn’t happen, people live within their means.”

The council will finance this overspend by dipping into it’s reserves which are now down to around £12 million.

“We could cover it this year but next year we will have issues,” he said.

“The city council, its finance officers but more importantly some senior politicians, particularly the cabinet spokesperson on finance, need to get a grip of the situation and set a budget that they can actually manage.

Coun Mohammed also criticised the state of devolution South Yorkshire, saying that it prevented the region from accessing money from the central government.

When asked what the Lib Dem’s would do to balance the budget he said: “We’d compromise with the local councils and not constantly bicker with them.

Bids could be made by the South Yorkshire region from sources such as the £2.4 billion Transforming Cities fund.