Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

Plug the social care funding gap

by Susan van de Ven on 1 July, 2021

From Cambridgeshire County Council

Two leading Councillors are backing a national call to plug the financial gap in adult social care funding and also for an urgent reform of the system.

The letter to the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care comes from the national body of leaders of English social care organisations, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

It calls for an urgent injection of cash to address short-term funding challenges, which have been worsened by Covid, and to set out plans for a “sustainable long-term future of social care.”

In Cambridgeshire, the Adult Social Care budget is dependent on over £25m in government grant funding that is not confirmed to be continuing in the long-term, which is nearly 10% of our budget. We are also seeing costs increase each year as demand for our services rises, with around £50m of additional funding needed over the next five years.

Despite being some of the fastest growing local authorities, shire counties have consistently received less funding from government than other types of council. In 2021/22 shire counties received between a third and a half less funding than other councils.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Richard Howitt, Chair of the Adults and Health Committee, said: “I completely support this letter and it is now time for Government to listen to the experts, take action and give councils like Cambridgeshire a fair deal. For too long adult social care has been underfunded by Government and now requires a long term increase in funding and reform, not only to help the recovery of the system from the pandemic but also for its long term sustainability. With more funding, we could support our most vulnerable adults and provide them with more services that could keep them independent in their own homes for longer, which is often where they want to be. This request is not only reasonable, it is also vital if we are to have a fully functioning social care system to give people the services they need.”

Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Susan van de Ven, Vice Chairwoman of the Adults and Health Committee, added: “Local Authorities like Cambridgeshire have been subject to short term funding fixes from Government for many years now. As a result of this, they have been unable to do long term budgeting and planning around their services as there is no certainty what funding they will receive. Not only do we need an immediate cash influx to stabilise the system, we now need long term funding and reform so we can plan clearly in order to give our communities in our changing county the services they require and deserve.”

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