THE leader of a borough's Conservative group has asked for details of overspends in two council departments.

Cllr John Slater expressed concern at an estimated overspend against budget for Blackburn with Darwen Council of £1.736million by March 31 when it was revealed to the authority's executive board on Thursday.

He was particularly worried by a predicted shortfall in environmental services of £557,000 and an expected budget deficit of f £844,000 in the growth and development portfolio.

The council's finance boss Cllr Vicky McGurk said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in significant unplanned expenditure and income losses, which are being monitored."

Cllr Slater told her: "The Conservative group is particularly worried about the projected overspends in the environmental services and growth and development portfolios.

"We would like to see detailed figures to assess whether the problems are due to Covid or more worrying underlying issues."

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council's deputy leader and growth and development boss, said: "Cllr Slater raised some valid issues which we are taking on board.

"There is a particular issue in my portfolio regarding the subsidy the council is paying to bus companies for the concessionary fare scheme which needs sorting."