Laura Sharman 23 March 2017

Councils call for full control on how to spend social care funding

Councils should be given the freedom to decide how best to spend the £2bn social care funding, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said today.

The LGA said councils should be free to determine which social care services the money will target such as supporting people with physical and learning disabilities, and people with mental health conditions.

However, they reiterated their concern that the money, announced in the Budget, will not address the funding pressures past 2020.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, welcomed the extra funding but added: ‘We want assurances from ministers that councils will retain full flexibility to decide how best this money is used, so we can provide much-needed care and support for our older and disabled residents.

‘Councils know where the pressures are in their local areas better than anyone else. It is also essential that there are no delays in releasing the money so that councils can provide extra care and maintain the services that would otherwise have been cut.

‘Reducing pressures on our hospitals is important, but we must also remember that social care is about much more than just freeing up hospital bed space.’

The Government is currently drawing up guidance for councils on how the money is spent.

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