What It’s Like To Slash Millions From Council Budgets: Local Authority Leaders Speak Out | HuffPost UK


After a decade of deep and sustained reductions to local government budgets, councils across the country must find further savings next year as main grant funding, the money local authorities receive from central government to provide services, is cut by a further £1.3billion (or 36%).

HuffPost UK has been exploring how the loss of individual services at a local level link up to paint a national portrait of austerity in our series What It’s Like To Lose. As part of that, we have asked council leaders what it is like to sit at that table and decide where to put the black lines.

The task was described by one former Labour finance chief as “brutal” while another Conservative town hall boss said in some ways the role was “a poisoned chalice”.

It does show that we are really, really short of money that we’re actually doing this. I mean there is no money.Richard Cornelius, Conservative leader of Barnet Council

Local authorities have already lost 60 per cent of their central government funding over the last decade, substantially more than any other area of government.

And it is in the loss of valued frontline community services that the impact of this austerity drive is most keenly felt by communities across England.

Regardless of their political stripes, the council leaders each called on central government to invest in local government saying the cuts have now gone far enough. But some were keen to say that this should not be at the expense of further borrowing by government.

So acute are the financial challenges that even the most basic services – such as libraries, school lollipop patrols, street lighting, road repairs, cemetery maintenance, gritting – are now being considered for savings.

HuffPost UK delved into reduction proposals at five local authorities across the country, and found all of these services mentioned in the various plans.

 

Source: What It’s Like To Slash Millions From Council Budgets: Local Authority Leaders Speak Out | HuffPost UK

With people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point | Care Industry News


Responding to a report by Voluntary Organisations Disability Group on adult social care funding, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeingboard, said:

“With people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point.

“Over recent years, councils have protected adult social care relative to other services. But the scale of the overall funding picture for local government as a whole means adult social care services still face a £3.5 billion funding gap by 2025, just to maintain existing standards of care. The likely consequences of this are more and more people being unable to get quality and reliable care and support, which enables them to live more fulfilling lives.

“Action is needed, which is why, following government’s decision to delay its green paper on adult social care, the  consultation to drive forward the public debate on what sort of care and support we need to improve people’s wellbeing and independence, the need to focus on prevention work, and, crucially, how we fund these vital services.”

*The LGA’s green paper is available here. The consultation closed on 26 September.

 

Source: With people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point | Care Industry News

Council cuts are putting the vulnerable at risk


So the ‘LGA is calling for councils’ funding problems to be addressed through a government spending review expected in spring 2019, which is likely to set out public services funding plans over the four years to 2023.’. However, by then will there be any councils left, especially for social care.

Will the funding commence in 2019 or much later, when it should have commenced from 2017 or much earlier.

Again, those who can least afford it are being left to suffer, where is the quality of life.

Which? report shows shortfall in care home places by 2022 | Care Industry News


“These findings reinforce our warning about the urgent need to reform adult social care and deliver a long-term sustainable solution that delivers a range of

Source: Which? report shows shortfall in care home places by 2022 | Care Industry News

Councils forced to overspend by £600m to protect vulnerable children as cuts push services to ‘breaking point’ | The Independent


Funding cuts have pushed children’s social services to “breaking point” with action only being taken to protect youngsters once they are at imminent risk of harm, council leaders warn today. Painting a damning picture of the state of children’s social care, a report from the Local Government Association (LGA) says cuts to early intervention services have led to an “unprecedented surge” in demand for urgent child protection support.

Source: Councils forced to overspend by £600m to protect vulnerable children as cuts push services to ‘breaking point’ | The Independent

No watertight solution for social care | DisabledGo News and Blog


A lukewarm response is probably a fair summary of the reaction to the government’s new funding boost for social care in England. The council tax increases had been much trailed. There was also an extra injection of Whitehall cash. But it is a short term fix which only begins to address the major policy challenges around social care. Rather than a total of 6% increases in council tax over three years, ring-fenced for social care, English local authorities will be permitted to impose 6% over two years so bringing forward revenue. Central government will top up the pot with £240m for next year funded from savings elsewhere in Whitehall. There has been a cautious welcome in some quarters and robust criticism in others with reminders that, thanks to government cuts, adult social care budgets in England have been reduced significantly since 2010. Reality Check: Is social care getting more money? Laura Kuenssberg: How can social care be funded? Care: The alternative options All are agreed

Source: No watertight solution for social care | DisabledGo News and Blog