A number of failures led to Bexley Council missing out on express warning that it was facing a £1.6 million overspend in its housing budget, a report to be considered by councillors later this week states.

Members of Bexley’s general purposes and audit committee will consider the report, which was requested by the council’s chief executive Jackie Belton after the budget blow-out was missed earlier this year.

It comes after council members were advised that the budget was in an “overall balanced position” up until February 2020.

However, councillors were told just three months later in May that the service was on track to spend an extra £1.6m by the end of the year.

The report states it’s “not possible, or appropriate to identify a single point of failure, as there are a number of factors that contributed to cause the situation”.

However, “an ongoing weakness with the budget control, monitoring and forecasting processes” was identified as key reasons for the £1.6m blow-out being reported late.

Booming numbers of residents requiring emergency temporary housing was one of the key causes of the growing pressure on the council’s housing services budget.

The same committee is also set to consider a “financial improvement plan” as the authority prepares to bring more its financial services back in house.

It comes after the authority earlier this year decided to decouple from oneSource, a tri-borough backroom scheme the authority joined in 2016 with Havering and Newham.

The authority announced its intention to fully withdraw from the scheme, which saw them share backroom finance services with the other two authorities earlier this year.

When they joined oneSource in 2016, the authority predicted it would make savings of £698k over the coming two financial years by joining the service.

Bexley will now forge ahead with plans to have all of its financial services directly under its own control.

The authority is expected to be hit with a fee for withdrawing from the arrangement.