WILTSHIRE Council says it still faces "significant challenges" ahead despite additional emergency funding announced for local authorities.

It says its latest projections show it has "significantly reduced" the chances of issuing a section 114 notice, which would impose immediate spending restrictions on the council.

Last week, the government announced further financial support for councils which includes £500m in additional funding.

Councillor Pauline Church, the council's cabinet member for finance and procurement, said: “The additional funding from the government will certainly ease the pressure, but we are still facing significant challenges ahead and more funding will be required. Locally, we are leading on the recovery from Covid-19 so we are working hard to ensure we have the right resources in the right areas to help the county get back strongly on its feet.

“We await with interest to see how the government will allocate the additional funding and will continue to work closely with them to try to ensure the county gets what it needs.”

The government also confirmed that it will introduce a new income loss scheme that will pay a percentage of all lost income from planned sales, fees and charges.

Wiltshire Council says this funding support, together with its own mitigating financial planning, means council reserves are not expected to be exhausted.

Before the announcement, the council’s projected overspend was at £36.73m. However, it is not yet known how much of the £500m government funding and funding through the new income scheme Wiltshire Council will receive.

The council is also putting controls on spending on such things as training and consultants and an external recruitment freeze is now in place, with exceptions only approved by senior officers.

It has also recently changed some of its working structures. It reverted from two chief executive officers to one and its number of cabinet members went down from nine to eight, and portfolio holders from 14 to 10.

Wiltshire Council also says it has had reduced income due to services such as leisure and car parking halting temporarily, and has had to spend more money to protect the vulnerable, and ensure people have what they need to get through the pandemic.

An update on the council's financial position will be given at a meeting of its cabinet on July 14.