Mark Whitehead 13 December 2016

Council finance chiefs warn demand for social care is putting other services at risk

Adult and children's social care are the areas hardest hit by pressure on council budgets, according to finance experts.

They say 86% of council finance chiefs in an annual survey identified adult social care as under the most stress and almost the same percentage also named children’s social care.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy also found the number who were less confident of their authority's ability to deliver services in the next financial year had more than doubled from 15% to 38%.

The findings come amid reports that the government is to encourage local authorities in England and Wales to increase their 'social care precept', added to council tax to boost adult and children’s services.

But Sean Nolan, CIPFA director of local government, said raising the precept was 'probably too little and too late to stop a major crisis in social care services.'

He said: 'All the evidence CIPFA is receiving is indicating that the continuing rise in spending on social care is putting a squeeze on other services.

'Councils can't defy gravity, keep taking so much money out of the system, and expect all their services to stand up.'

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