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An independent report commissioned by the Government has said that Luton Borough Council is financially well-run.

The review was undertaken after the Council sort to borrow money from the Exceptional Finance Support from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The support allows local councils to borrow up to £49 million from the Government to fund services till 2022.

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Luton Borough Council chose to only borrow £15.8 million but the report was still required as part of the process.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) who did the evaluation and the report noted the town’s exceptional vulnerability to the difficulties faced by the problems of the aviation industry because of the council’s commercial interest in the success of London Luton Airport.

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CIPFA said that the Council has been proactive in managing the unprecedented financial pressures that arose as a result of the loss of income from the commercial operations of its airport subsidiary and in making some hard decisions in order to realise savings.

The report also acknowledged that, along with other councils, significant challenges remain – particularly with regards to the provision of statutory adult social care and children’s provision, as well as implementing a further rigorous cost-efficient savings programme.

Luton Borough Council said they are pleased that the report showed that their tough decisions on spending were benifical.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: “We are pleased an independent assessment into how we manage the public purse on behalf of the community has concluded we took early, decisive and correct decisions when faced with the huge challenge of income reduction as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The report includes a number of recommendations, most of which have already been implemented by the council to stabilise our finances in the aftermath of the pandemic. Our central focus is on delivering the Luton 2040 vision and making Luton a healthy, fair and sustainable town, where everyone can thrive and no one has to live in poverty.

“This has included ensuring that we are less reliant on income from the airport to fund services locally in the future, but we also recognise and are fully committed to maximising the success of our largest asset, which remains critical to Luton’s economic recovery from the pandemic.”

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