CAUTIOUS North Ayrshire Council chiefs admit the increasing cost of borrowing is causing them worries following the stock market crash earlier this month.

But they are confident they will be in a break-even position if money is transferred from reserves.

Speaking at a recent cabinet meeting, council leader Marie Burns said: “Lots of concerns have been expressed about the rising cost of borrowing in the last few days. We are going through very difficult times at the moment.

“It will affect capital projects including the likes of new schools. We will just have to monitor it on an ongoing basis.”

David Forbes, senior manager (financial management) said: "We had significant surprises from the UK Government last week and the cost of borrowing is set to go up.

“We are constantly in touch with the services and we have seen some stress in relation to the tender returns.

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“When tenders come in later in the year we will review the deliverability of the programme as it stands, especially in the light of the borrowing costs.”

Depute leader Shaun MacAulay added: “There’s so much volatility and the financial team have been quite prudent when we had to be. The reason for that is that we have to expect the unexpected. We are doing all we can to support our services.”

The General Services Revenue Estimates for 2022/23 were approved by the council in March.

The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) revenue budget for 2022/23 was approved by the council on February 16, 2022.

As part of the monitoring procedures to keep the cabinet informed of the financial performance, reports are presented on a regular basis.

In the final quarter of the year, the general fund is forecasting a net break-even position after transferring resources from earmarked reserves.

In particular, the sum of £1.644m in respect of anticipated increases in contractual and non-contractual energy and fuel costs, earmarked as part of the 2021-22 closure of accounts, has been transferred to address the additional costs.

The council set a break-even budget for 2022/23.