A DEFICIT of £16m caused as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has been confirmed by Barnsley Council - and residents have been told non-essential spending will not happen until the books are balanced.

Coun Alan Gardiner revealed the figure in a cabinet report on Wednesday which showed the costly impact the lockdown period has had on the council’s finances.

“Unfortunately due to the pandemic we have had to prohibit all non-essential spending and to postpone some investments,” said Coun Gardiner. “This has meant that we can’t invest in some local initiatives but the council is in the process of lobbying the government to reimburse councils for their losses due to the pandemic.”