Kingston Council has warned “tough decisions will be needed” to balance its books in this financial year, blaming cuts, inflation and a growing population.

In a statement released last week, Kingston said it no longer receives revenue support funding from central government despite growing pressure on local services and inflation.

The statement reads: “overall, the council needs to save £22m in this financial year and is working hard to recover the current forecast overspend.

“Of the £22m savings, some are currently at risk of not being delivered and recovery plans are being put in place to bring it back into balance.

“These savings do not start to tackle the £11m deficit in the special educational needs and disability schools budget.”

Over the next four years, the council forecasts the demand for adult social care services will cost over £7m more than Kingston currently spends.

It estimates Kingston’s population has increased by 20,000 people since 2011 to 1179,600 this year.

The borough’s elderly population has risen to 24,300 this year, from 20,500 in 2011 and is expected to soar to 32,000 by 2030.

Councillor Liz Green, leader of Kingston council, said: “In May we inherited a budget gap of £22m this year, with around £10m of the proposed savings at risk of not being delivered.

"Since then, we have gone through a line by line review of the budget to determine the level of savings and income achievable this year and what can be done to manage the risk.

"There will be tough decisions over the coming months and as we prepare the 2019/20 budget, but we are determined to put Kingston council back on a financial even keel, whilst protecting our most vulnerable residents.”

The council reported a £3.9m forecast overspend for 2018/19 at its finance and contracts committee on October 4.

The council will outline its draft budget for 2019/20 on February 26, 2019.