Financial Meltdown in Barnet – Read Mr Reasonable
Yesterday Barnet published the agenda for the Policy & Resources committee next Monday which you can read here. I am used to surprises but this one was gobsmacking. I blogged just a couple of weeks ago about the parlous state of Barnet’s finances including the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) published in February. Yesterday Barnet published a revised MTFS.
So whereas in February they were forecasting a shortfall of £2.79 million in 2018/19 they are now forecasting a £9.5 million shortfall and in 2019/20 the shortfall jumps from £8.2 million to £19.3 million all in the space of four months. The long term prospects are apocalyptic with a shortfall of £42 million in 2021/22 and by 2023/24 a “high level calculation” showing a shortfall of £62 million. This means the council can no longer exist in its current form.
I simply cannot believe that in February – before the election – no one was aware of just how bad the financial situation was, in which case were the electorate misled?