COUNCIL bosses are working hard behind the scenes to make sure Blackburn with Darwen departments come in on budget.

But pressures on children’s services have not eased and a “significant” overspend is expected at the end of the year, the council’s finance chief warned.

Cllr Andy Kay updated members on the current financial state of play at an executive board meeting last week.

A report went before the board detailing each department’s position at the end of the first quarter of the financial year.

Although other departments are facing pressures, Cllr Kay said he expected measures to be taken for them to be on budget by the end of the year, with the exception of children’s services.

He added: “I have no doubt there will be very difficult decisions to be made to get to that point. We are trying to make cuts to services that are absolutely unacceptable in our eyes.

“Our residents will either have to pay more or we will be reducing services.”

“For 2018/19, the children’s services portfolio reported an overspend position of £1.4 million. Both the number of children entering the care system and the number of looked after children increased significantly during the latter part of 2018/19 and has continued to rise in the first quarter of 2019/20.

“As a result, these cost pressures are likely to remain during the course of this year. To address these ongoing pressures in 2019/20, the portfolio is investing in an alternative placement strategy to re-focus, and build capacity in our more cost-effective ‘in-house’ services."