Saturday, 8 September 2012

Barnet Council Local Authority Trading Company hits Financial Difficulties

It appears that the Trading company set up by Barnet Council, Your Choice (Ltd)  has just revealed  it is projecting a deficit for the close of the financial year of £700,000. This is over 3 times the projected deficit forecast in the Business Case. Many local people queried the evidence for the Business Case for setting up the LATC and so this news is, whilst not surprising, is still extremely disappointing.
The Business case reported the following:
 6.33 Savings
6.34 There is a requirement within the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) for Adults Social Care to make a £200,000 saving in 2012/13 in respect of the Local Authority Trading Company. The analysis above shows that the Local Authority Trading Company will not generate this saving until 2013/14, so Adults Social Care will fund this cost for 2012/13, but will also make a greater surplus from 2014/15 onwards.
We ask if the £700,000 predicted shortfall solely refers to the LATC losses with additional £200,000 savings expected from adults social services as required under the Medium Terms Financial Strategy? Many people doubted that Barnet Council had the experience or business acumen to set up and successfully manage such an operation.It seems our fears have been justified. What lessons can we learn with regards to the One Barnet program.

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