Huge demand on adult social services in Bexley last year caused the council to overspend by more than £3m.

Bexley Council is preparing to pump millions into its adults’ services and public health pot next year as it looks to balance its books.

The department overspent last year by £3.4m, with demand for services exceeding original expectations.

Cabinet member Brad Smith told a scrutiny meeting on February 6 he was confident the budget was now under control.

He said: “Not only have I got confidence in that, this was independently looked at and the judgement was that the department had done everything they could to keep it under control – but there were unrealistic expectations to begin with.

“It wasn’t the a right sized budget and that has been addressed moving forward.

“You’ll see that there’s a £3.9m boost for adult services in the 19/20 budget in recognition that we will always spend what is needed to protect these vulnerable adults.

“This is a demand-led service you can’t always totally accurately predict, but there has been external clarification that this wasn’t down to mismanagement.”

The overspend, according to council documents, is mainly down to residential services for people with learning disabilities.

Nationally councils have warned that adult social services are under strain because of cuts to care since 2010.

Bexley is planning a £3.9m boost in next year’s budget, which is set to be formally signed off at a meeting later this month.