Posted on Wednesday 8th January 2020
Staffordshire County Council is spending more than ever before on care.
A record £320m will need to be spent in 2020 to protect increasing numbers of adults and children in Staffordshire requiring care, despite falling funding from Government.
With 65 per cent of Staffordshire County Council’s budget now spent on care, the authority’s cabinet today agreed a five-year plan to reduce its own costs by £62m by 2024 to help manage the growing funding pressures.
The council has also pledged to continue to press the Government for a long-term solution to funding care at a local level.
Philip Atkins, Leader of the Council, said the council’s proactive approach to managing pressures has allowed the authority to live within its means, deliver a balanced budget and still protect everyone eligible to receive care next year.
Sixty-five per cent of our budget is now spent on caring for the frail elderly and vulnerable children and as a result this puts pressure on other areas.
Despite this, we have acted swiftly to manage these pressures and continued to bring wider benefits to Staffordshire families by growing the economy, creating better jobs and helping more people lead healthier, independent and rewarding lives.
Our call now is for the new Government to back the ambitions of well-run councils like Staffordshire by securing a long-term national solution to how we fund care, support children with special educational needs and disabilities and protect our local roads from further decline.”
In 2020/21 the county council’s budget will see:
- an extra £8.1m invested in helping to keep more children out of care;
- an investment of £650,000 in climate change and sustainability projects;
- more than £120m spent on capital projects, such as schools and business sites;
- delivery of an additional savings across services to meet the £62m five-year plan to 2024;
- joined-up working with the NHS to offer an affordable approach to health and care.
To help achieve this, the county council tax will rise by 3.95 percent, which includes the Government’s 2 percent levy to help towards footing the care bill. This is less than £1 per week on the average bill for a Band D Property and will still be one of the lowest in the country.
The draft budget for 2020/21 and Medium Term Financial Strategy will now be presented to Full Council in February for a final decision.
All spending projections will be subjected to review once national government funding for local councils is finalised in the Local Government Finance Settlement.