Auditors will be asked to examine a Renfrewshire Council department’s finances after a revenue overspend of around £3 million was predicted for the end of this financial year.

The situation facing infrastructure, land and environment (ILE) services has been driven by a loss of parking income since the Covid-19 pandemic, refuse collection costs, which have been impacted by inflationary pressures, and absence cover.

Councillor Chris Gilmour, Labour group environment spokesperson, said the projected annual overspend of £3.16m appeared to be “out of control”.

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He called for the internal audit team to get involved – a request which was accepted.

“Our deficit is climbing weekly and we don’t seem to be able to get a grip of it,” he said at Wednesday’s ILE policy board.

“I believe it’s time that we should have an audit. We should instruct the audit, risk and scrutiny team to carry out an audit on the services part of this board and report back to the audit, risk and scrutiny board, where we can look at it.”

The veteran politician, who represents Johnstone North and the surrounding villages, said it was time for a “deep dive” to get to the bottom of the issue.

He added: “Every time we come before this board, the deficit gets bigger, bigger and bigger … I feel it would be well worthwhile carrying it out and that way any lessons can be learned and we can move on as a council.”

Responding, Councillor Michelle Campbell, board convener and SNP representative for Erskine and Inchinnan, said: “In terms of what’s asked, it’s not an unreasonable request for it to go to audit, risk and scrutiny … especially given at full council we’ve had discussions about the position of the council, so I don’t see there being any problem with that.

“I’m happy to second that amendment for you, Councillor Gilmour. That’s not a problem at all.”

SNP council leader Iain Nicolson, who also represents Erskine and Inchinnan said: “I’m not accepting Councillor Gilmour’s flamboyant words of ‘out of control’. Aside from the decision to put to audit, risk and scrutiny, which is fine, the members of this board should also get a clearer breakdown as to how these kinds of variances work in the context of the budgets for this board.”

Councillor Campbell agreed, adding: “I think we need to give the board members here their place, because we’re the ones that are reviewing this.

“Although, like I said, I accept the amendment that’s been put forward, I do think that you’re absolutely right that it should come to the members of this board first and foremost for scrutiny here as well.”