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First quarterly spending figures published

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The Department for Communities & Local Government has published the first release of quarterly council spending figures.

The new system will see out-turn data published for the sector as a whole and also broken down by individual authority.

The first release showed council spending running marginally ahead of budget, with the forecast total service expenditure 1.8% ahead of budget.

In total, councils spent £24.4bn on services in the first quarter of the year. When projected for the full year this gave a forecast full year expenditure of £99.3bn, compared to the £97.5bn that councils have budgeted to spend.

However, the full-year measure for net current expenditure – which includes the amount paid in housing benefit along with receipts from various levies, precepts and the balances on trading accounts – was just 0.4% ahead of that budgeted for at £116.7bn.

There were regional variations, with net current expenditure in London expected to exceed its target by 2.1% while authorities in the east Midlands were set to come in at 3.5% under budget.

Valid data was not submitted by 16 local authorities, 10 of which are councils including Brentwood BC, communities secretary Eric Pickles’ constituency authority.

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