THE conurbation council is projecting a £4.5 million spend over budget for the year.

BCP Council says the figure, based on second quarter activity, is still subject to change by the end of the financial year.

However it has reduced by £500,000 since the last projection, and comes within the range of £9m of contingency funds –in part set aside from reserves – to cover "the additional level of uncertainty in this first year of the new council".

A report to the cabinet's meeting on Wednesday notes a projected overspend of £2.95m in children's services and deficits of £472k in regeneration and economy, £670k in environment and community and £398k in resources and corporate.

Adult social care however has a balance outturn predicted.

The report says of this: "A £381k saving for employees' cost is forecast, mainly due to the difficulty in recruiting social work staff."

The council is also predicting a 'saving' of £1.1m for care packages due to "higher than required budget assumptions for Christchurch care demand".

However rising costs of residential care in Bournemouth – by 10 per cent since last year – and a deficit of £1.4m in service user contributions have reportedly eaten up these savings.

The council report states that children's services have been hit by forecast growth in demand combined with "delay in the implementation of new staffing structures".

A recurrent problem with the three predecessor councils, costs for transportation for children with special educational needs have also increased, raising the deficit in this area.

The environment and community deficit, the report says, results largely from "the reduction of income from both Bournemouth and Poole crematoriums" due to the opening of a private crematorium near Christchurch.

However the council says this is mitigated by "harmonised" cremation fees beginning this month and a reduction in running costs at Poole Crematorium.

The cabinet, which meets at 10am at Christchurch Civic Offices in Bridge Street, will consider whether to seek a report on the causes of the adult social care service user contributions deficit.