COUNCIL bosses in York have reduced a potential budget shortfall but must still save almost £2 million by April to balance their books.

Financial forecasts prepared by City of York Council officials, covering the nine months to the end of December, say the gap which needs to be bridged has closed from more than £3.7 million earlier in the year to £1.93 million.

However, a report which will be discussed by city leaders tomorrow said several departments are struggling to hit their targets. Parking income is predicted to be £218,000 below budget and delays in making savings to the council’s waste services and fleet section add a £765,000 pressure.

The children’s services, education and skills directorate faces a £623,000 overspend, despite the number of children in the council’s care reducing and almost £1 million of spending cuts.

The council has to save about £10 million in 2013/14, a similar amount next year and £12.65 million in 2015/16.

Its annual budget meeting will be held on February 27 and a string of cuts and plans for savings will go before tomorrow night’s cabinet meeting.

The financial report by corporate finance manager Debbie Mitchell and principal accountant Andrew Crookham says about £700,000 is expected to be received through fines from new traffic restrictions on Lendal Bridge and Coppergate, but these will go into an “earmarked reserve”, ringfenced for road and transport schemes.

Meanwhile, £400,000 from the council’s expected surplus in its £6.6 million public health grant is to be used to deal with the likely overspend in adult social care, £150,000 more than was proposed earlier in the year.

The officials said: “Pressures continue to be evident in relation to demand for care, despite significant investment of £2.5 million in the 2013/14 budget.”

They said more people than expected needed nursing care, and delays in a shake-up of elderly people’s homes meant £175,000 would not be saved this year, although fewer external residential care placements had been needed and this had offset some of the projected overspend.