More details about Bexley Council’s strained finances are set to be detailed in a meeting on Wednesday, with members to be told the authority’s income streams are “volatile” while considerable “uncertainty” remains over funding for next year.

Cllr Teresa O’Neill will provide an update on the authority’s financial position at November’s full meeting of council as part of her leader’s report.

In the report, which has been uploaded to the council’s website prior to the meeting, Cllr O’Neill says “robust plans” need to be put in place to alleviate strain on the council’s stretched funds.

Additional pressure had been placed on the council due to the government delaying its Comprehensive Spending Review – where the government was due to outline its funding intentions for local governments in the coming years – due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Comprehensive Spending Review was expected to take place during the summer of this year, however this has been deferred due to the pandemic, which creates uncertainty in financial planning for the new financial year,” Cllr O’Neill’s report states, adding that some assurance had been given by government – at least, informally.

“Members are continuing to lobby and officers are continuing to use their professional networks to secure certainty from the government on future funding,” she said.

The Tory leader said November’s cabinet meeting would see senior members updated on the authority’s financial position – which could see changes to the medium-term strategy the council pursues in the coming years to balance the books.

“There continues to be significant uncertainty but the council needs to put in place robust plans for the medium term,” she said.

Council income will also be part of the update – with the hundreds of thousands of pounds of lost parking charges among the top items underscoring the authority’s financial hit.

“The council’s income streams continue to remain volatile and further

work is being undertaken to identify what impact this may have on future years, with a particular area of focus being parking income.”

The update comes after a meeting of Bexley’s audit committee last week, where members were told the council could be forced into “unplanned and unforeseen” cuts to due to its dire financial position.

An independent auditor told members there was a “significant risk” of council reserves being used if a forecast £29.3m funding gap wasn’t closed over the next three years.

Cllr Dan Francis, the leader of Labour, was among the members who voiced their concerns on the update, saying he couldn’t “remember being in this position with this level of concern”.

Bexley’s full meeting of council will take place on November 4.