Officers have been thanked by their council for seeing the authority safely through troubled waters.

Allerdale Borough Council's executive members met yesterday to hear positive reports about its finances in spite of the challenges faced over the last 18 months, not least of all the Covid-19 pandemic.

Councillor Colin Sharpe, Portfolio holder for Finance and Legal presented a report explaining Allerdale's finances between April and July 2021.

Cllr Sharpe Healthy reported healthy finances despite the circumstances.

"During the three months to June 30 2021, collection rates for council tax and non-domestic rates show an improvement on the corresponding period for 2020/2021 and are broadly in-line with 2019/2020 levels achieved prior to the pandemic."

He also said that "No external borrowing has been undertaken during the four month period."

On money owed to the council, he said: "£263,000 representing 27 per cent of the overall outstanding debt is over 90 days old. The debt over 90 days old is higher than it was at the same time last year, £263,000 in June 2021 in comparison to £251,000 in June 2021.

"But in terms of the overall percentage of debt, this has actually decreased."

Speaking of creditors - money that the council owes, he said: "The authority's target is to pay 98 per cent of supplier invoices within a target time frame of 30 days for non-Allerdale suppliers and 14 days for Allerdale suppliers. During quarter one of 2021/22, 96 per cent of non-Allerdale supplier invoices were paid within the set time frame of 30 days and 96 per cent of Allerdale supplier invoices within the set time frame of 14 days."

Trade waste, minimum revenue provision and banking interest all saw favourable variances which means that income is more than budget or expenditure is less than budget.

Councillor Marion Fitzgerald said: "I would just like to extend thanks to the section 151 officer and her team for delivering us safely to this point because without doubt it has been the most difficult couple of years and whilst you can see there isn't a huge amount of headroom in the budget the figures could be far far worse and it is for many other Local Authorities."

However the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic could be seen in the report with adverse results from the income of council owned car parks as well as food and occupational health.

An adverse variance of £262,814 was seen in the income of Workington's multi-storey car park which is seeing significantly lower usage than expected at the time of setting the budget.