New independent figures released this week show how councils face a ‘make or break’ year as a result of government cuts to councils’ funding and growing demand for services.
Greens have called for the government to revise national austerity plans to protect social care services.
Local Government Association (LGA) research released this week found that councils in England face a ‘funding gap’ of £5.8 billion over the next two years.
LGA Chair Sir Merrick Cockell said: “In recent years, local government has worked tirelessly to save billions while protecting services for those who need them most. But the scale of the challenge facing local authorities next year is stark…Next year will be a make or break moment for adult social care, for local services provided by councils and for the NHS.”
Concerns that local services are reaching breaking point were backed up by further figures released today (2nd July) by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).
ADASS president David Pearson said he fears for “countless vulnerable people who will fail to receive, or not be able to afford, the social care services they need and deserve”.
Early projections suggest that the financial shortfall Brighton & Hove City Council faces for the coming financial year is approximately £25m
Councillor Jason Kitcat, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council said:
“Councils have faced year upon year of financial pressure as national government cuts mount up, and more and more people use our services.
“Our staff have done a remarkable job in maintaining or improving the vast majority of our services for residents. However relentless cuts – supported by both the Tories and Labour – mean that our funding continues to plummet at a time when it’s most needed.
“These figures show the grim future ahead for local services under Tory and Labour cuts plans. The consensus among experts, charities, and councils is clear – residents’ local services are approaching a crisis, and the government must look again. ”
*The LGA figures can be viewed in full on the Local Government Association website here: http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/finance/-/journal_content/56/10180/6309034/NEWS
*The ADASS figures can be viewed in a report on the Guardian website http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/02/adult-care-services-breaking-point-funding-cuts