North Yorkshire County Council is calling on the Government to give more protection for adult social care and to help fund additional school places to avoid a crisis caused by further cuts in provision.
In the run up to the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review this week, the council is warning Ministers that unrelenting austerity and further cuts in local authority funding will cause severe problems for adult social care, which is the council’s largest budget.
The county council is demanding the same protection for adult social care as the Government has committed to the National Health Service.
In addition, the county council will also be writing to MPs asking for support in lobbying the Government for extra school places funding. The authority must find an additional £15-£22 million over the coming year, on top of its planned savings programme, to provide additional school places in those areas of the county with a rising birth rate and increased housing development
Moreover, the introduction of the National Living Wage will cause additional financial difficulties..
As austerity continues, the pressures mount. This autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) promises a tough settlement for local government and the county council faces hard choices.
County Councillor Carl Les, North Yorkshire’s Leader said:
Difficult decisions lie ahead and we have grave concerns about the outcome of the CSR”, “For this reason we will be calling on Government to help us with adult social care and we will also be writing to our MPs in the coming months to support us in lobbying for additional school places funding.
It does not make any sense for the health budget to be protected but not adult social care. The two systems need to work together efficiently if people, and especially the elderly, are to be cared for effectively. But that cannot happen if the adult social care budget continues to be cut.
The county council says it is making every attempt to protect frontline services through its pioneering 2020 North Yorkshire savings through change programme. Since 2011, the county council has implemented and made plans for total cuts in its spending of around £170m. A programme of savings totalling more than £90m has been completed so far, ahead of schedule. These savings have been brought about largely through back office rationalisation.
County Councillor Carl Les said:
We are proud of the way we have embraced change and taken a creative, problem-solving approach to service delivery.
But continuing austerity severely reduces our room for manoeuvre to protect the front line.
Adult Social Care Comprises:
- Assessment and care management services.
- Carers’ services.
- Care Homes provided by the County Council.
- Day Services provided by the County Council.
- Equipment and loan store services.
- Extra care housing.
- Housing related support for vulnerable young people and adults.
- Information and advice.
- Occupational therapy services.
- Hospital discharge services.
- Short-term Reablement and intermediate care services to help people regain skills, confidence and independence.
- Services for older people.
- Services for people with autism.
- Services for people with dementia.
- Services for people with mental health issues.
- Services for people with learning disabilities.
- Services for people with a physical disability and physical health issues.
- Services for people with a sensory loss.
- Short Breaks services (also known as respite care).
- Supported living and shared lives services.
- End of life care.
- Transitions services from childhood to adulthood.
Note to editors:
North Yorkshire’s planned savings represent a reduction in the council’s spending power of approximately 34% … at a time when the demand for the services it provides is continually rising, particularly in adult social care. More than a quarter of the adult population of North Yorkshire is over the age of 65 and every year the population of older people increases, and with it the demand for the care and support which the council provides. Moreover, the county council is supporting younger people with care and support needs to live longer into older age and therefore the demand to support people with physical and learning disabilities is rising fast. Any reduction in Government funding will exacerbate this fundamental difficulty.