BURY Council is expecting a £7.5m overspend in its budget for this financial year with a loss of income due to the coronavirus crisis forecast at £24m.

The latest forecast comes from a report on first quarter of this financial year.

It comes one month after council leader Eamonn O’Brien revealed the latest estimates of the cost of the coronavirus crisis to Bury Council were £42.5m.

Despite additional government funding, the council still faces a £24m loss.

Cllr O’Brien told the cabinet last week how the forecast has been calculated.

He said: “The way we have projected our gap includes the impact from council tax and business rates on the collection fund.

“However, the way the collection fund is accounted for is that it effectively shows in the accounts for the following year.

“So whilst at the moment, we’re projecting a £7.5m overspend, we’re not actually yet able to show in the accounts the impacts on a range of other measures that will be seen on the collection fund.

“And so, despite the £7.5m figure, we are still talking in terms of a projected gap of about £24m.”

Cllr O’Brien also said that some savings targets have been impacted by Covid-19.

But where a saving is identified as potentially undeliverable, a review will take place to ensure that alternatives are put in place, he says.

The Labour councillor responsible for finance and growth also highlighted losses in income including from the Manchester Airport Group, which will not be paid to Bury Council, a minority shareholder, this financial year at least.

He added: “The overspends in many areas are less to do with demand pressures, but much more significantly to do with a loss of income. I think that’s an important distinction to make.

“Previously, a lot of our financial pressure came from a loss of the government grant to councils combined with additional demand pressures in adults’ and children’s social care.

“Now we’re seeing significant losses in income through things like our airport dividend and also our car parking fees, leisure and other fees as well.

“This is why it’s really important that the government do acknowledge that our pressures are not just demand driven but also due to that loss of income and I think a lot more could be done on supporting us through that.”

Last month, the government announced it would reimburse 75 per cent of losses which are more than five per cent of council’s planned income from sales, fees and charges – but this does not cover the airport dividend.

Bury Council reported an overspend of around £5m in its revenue account for 2019/20 despite a day-to-day underspend overall.

This is mainly due to a planned contribution to a pooled budget with Bury NHS clinical commissioning group which will be returned to the council’s budget.