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City of York Council's £65k swine flu bill
COMBATING the threat of swine flu has left council bosses in York facing an unexpected £65,000 bill.
City of York Council says the cost of buying tissues, sanitising wipes and gel to ensure the pandemic did not spread among its workforce means one of its cleaning budgets is set for a five-figure overspend.
The figures have been revealed in a report which will go before the authority’s executive member for neighbourhood services, Coun Ann Reid, tomorrow.
It also shows the directorate is expected to spill over its overall budget by £359,000 at the end of the current financial year, despite £200,000 of savings having been made.
A reduction in income from the department’s bereavement services section and maintenance costs have also created a likely £51,000 overspend, while a High Court ruling that the council’s noise abatement order issued on the owners of Elvington Airfield was invalid has meant a final legal bill of £28,000.
A council spokeswoman said: “The £65,000 costs for swine flu prevention were incurred by buying sanitising wipes and gel and tissues for staff at all council locations across the city.
“Free resources from the Health Protection Agency for publicity and information were used to minimise costs.”
The report said the cleaning bill cauused by the swine flu outbreak had been partially eased by spending controls of £7,000 on other materials.
NHS North Yorkshire and York said both City of York and North Yorkshire County Councils were involved in seasonal and swine flu planning meetings since last autumn to gain advice on how to protect their staff.
Dr Peter Brambleby, the organisation’s director of public health, said: “One of the most effective measures is for organisations to promote good hygiene practices, such as regular hand washing and catching and binning used tissues.”
The city council spokeswoman also confirmed the final Elvington Airfield legal bill was lowered after the authority challenged the original £68,000 costs.