Hertfordshire County Council expects to overspend by nearly £2 million by the end of 2021/22, latest estimates suggest.

This year the council has set a £866m budget for services that include social care, highways, waste disposal and the fire service.

The latest financial position, based on data from the end of the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year, was reported to a meeting of the council’s resources and performance cabinet panel on October 1.

It estimates that by the end of the financial year, in March 2022, there will be a £1.88m overspend.

Councillors were told primarily reflects increased costs around children’s services  – and at that level could be met by the council’s contingency budget.

But according to the report, this initial position must be viewed "with a degree of caution", pointing to the uncertainties related to the pandemic.

Assistant director for finance Steven Pilsworth told councillors the position was characterised by "huge uncertainty".

He said it remained difficult to forecast demand across some of the council’s key services, including adults, children and waste.

Meanwhile, the report also estimates that additional costs related to Covid-19 are forecast to be £42.8 million. But those costs will be met from the council’s ‘Covid-19 emergency funding.

Labour councillor Cllr Sharon Taylor said that the uncertainty was "extremely worrying", but that they would understand the reasons why that would be the case.