Bexley’s cabinet will consider a set of savings and delays to projects over the remainder of the year in a bid to help address a coronavirus-impacted budget gap which could grow to £42 million by 2025 if unaddressed.

Reports to be considered by the authority’s cabinet next week reveal the council has spent an extra £13.684 million during the coronavirus pandemic, while missing out on £48.178m of income it had expected to receive.

Among the unforeseen expenses brought on by the deadly virus are £766k spent on personal protective equipment the council has bought for the borough, while more than £11m was spent on “third party providers” and increased use of agency staff.

Likewise, the council has experienced a “dramatic” loss of income due to the virus – headlined by a £27.932m shortfall in uncollected business rates (to be covered by the central Government), as well as nearly £10m less in council tax.

Government grants so far have helped plug some of the expense, but the authority still faces severe stress as it looks to navigate the medium term impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as years of underfunding.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have delivered an entirely new range of services from scratch and at speed as the government asked us to do, to help residents, businesses and our staff,” council leader Teresa O’Neill OBE said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We have adapted to work in new ways, focused on supporting the most vulnerable and have worked with our partners to mobilise the army of volunteers who have come forward to help those in need and fight this pandemic.

“But lockdown has also had a massive impact on our income. The Government has provided us with some additional funding and we are continuing to lobby for further funds to be made available to support the delivery of our services.

“We will also continue to look at ways we can transform our services to squeeze the most out of every penny of taxpayers’ money we have, to invest in the services that matter most to our residents.”

If all identified proposals are agreed, the budget gap is forecasted to be

£13.250m in 2021/22, increasing to £34.626m by 2024/25, according to the council’s report.

Among the proposals is a plan to cut £3.285m from it’s building maintenance programme, reducing it to £1.5m a year over the next two years while stock surveys are undertaken.

The authority will also look to remove £1.1m which hasn’t been allocated to specific projects as part of the council’s schools expansion programme.

The council has stated it plans to consult local people from July to September on a first set of transformation and savings proposals.

Further details on the proposals are set to be laid out then.

The authority will also put forward a second set of proposals for public consultation from November to January.

All the proposals will also have to front the council’s various overview and scrutiny committees.

The meeting of cabinet is set to take place on July 7 and can be watched online at the council’s website.