AN EXPECTED overspend on Swindon Borough Council’s day-to-day budget has come down by £700,000.

But that still leaves the authority looking at a £3.5m funding gap by the end of the year the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance Russell Holland told his Conservative colleagues.

Coun Holland said: “I’m pleased to say that the expected overspend has come down by £700,000.

"But that still leaves a significant sum, so work is needed to make sure this council’s budget is balanced by the end of the year.”

One area of overspending which caused concern is in highways and the environment.

Since the last report in September, an extra £120,000 has been spent to cover for absences in the waste and recycling teams run by the council.

Labour councillor Bob Wright asked the cabinet: “Why has there been so much absence among the waste teams?”

The cabinet member for highways and environment Maureen Penny said: “The problem is that many of the teams are men in their middle years and it’s a very physical job and they’re often lifting heavy weights and running.

“We are working to address the issues.”