Liverpool schools see £2.2m added to energy bills after council error

The funds for these bills will need to be found from other departmental savings, the council has said

An error by Liverpool City Council has seen schools in the city face an additional £2.2 million on their energy bills.

In May, the council’s cabinet had not been made aware that its energy supplier Scottish Power had ended its supply to commercial customers.

Chief Executive at the time, Tony Reeves, said this was down to “control failures and errors in the decision-making process which meant the cabinet was not fully aware of this.”

Mayor of the city Joanne Anderson responded: “I won’t defend something that is a clear failure on the council’s part.”

Schools now face an additional £2.2 million due to the mistakes of the council, which is lower than the £2.8 million Ms Anderson predicted in November.

Despite this, Councillor Tom Logan explained that it was trying to “get the money across” to schools but this was not easy.

Balancing the finances for paying off this mistake will see spending cut elsewhere.

Steve Reddy, Director of Children’s Services for the council, explained that children’s social care services will see cuts to offset the energy payments of schools.

Councillor Richard Kemp, leader of the opposition, the Liberal Democrats, said: “Supporting schools to make up for the appalling mistakes of the council can only mean us robbing budgets aimed at the most needy members of the community or defying the government and reducing balances to a level that the commissioners would find unsatisfactory.”

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