SOUTHAMPTON City Council is still £1 million in the red this year - despite desperate moves to get finances back on target.

Three key areas are still overspending, according to the latest figures released by the civic offices.

Social services is over budget by £83,000 despite a £1.5 million cash lifeline and leisure will be £139,000 in the red.

Meanwhile, the environment and transport portfolio is also heading for an overspend of £84,600 - which must be hard for Labour executive member councillor Richard Will-iams to bear as his area of control boosted the council's balances by £400,000.

Increased costs of refuse collection, street care and improvements to the road network are being blamed for going over budget, and an overspend of £128,100 is being predicted for the next financial year.

Council officers now have to prepare a monthly report on the state of finances following a demand from Liberal Democrat leader councillor Adrian Vinson.

But Labour councillor Peter Jenks, whose portfolio is in charge of finances, said producing the reports was time-consuming and little could be gained from producing the monthly financial snapshot.

Finance officer Terry O'Rourke confirmed that producing the figures was labour-intensive and the result could be misleading to the public.

"There is no merit for letting this information into the public domain as it can be open to misinterpretation," he said.