Thursday 12 May 2011
The results of a survey published today shows that there is a North-South divide in spending on social care in England following the government’s Spending Review. The survey has been produced by the BBC in conjunction with CIPFA ( the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy ).
The Council Spending: Making it Clear survey looked at planned expenditure of 76% of councils in England. Adult social care spending will fall by an estimated 4.7% to £3.4bn in the North in 2011/12 and rise by 2.7% to £3.33bn in the South.But some councils said the figures were "skewed" by grant allocation changes.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said "protecting and improving social care services is vital".
The government accepted that reform of the system was needed, he said, adding that an independent commission was currently considering "how we can ensure affordable and sustainable funding for care and support for all adults in England in the future".
A total of 268 out of 353 councils replied to questions about their budgets.
Of the 151 councils in England responsible for social care, 73 responded to the BBC survey. Forty-one of these were in the North and 32 in the South of England. Overall, social care budgets of the councils surveyed are set to be cut by about 2.6%, from £9.79bn to £9.54bn in the current financial year, compared to 2010/11. Some adult services have been incorporated into housing and leisure plans in some areas.
Social care funding for children is also being cut across England, although in the South the cuts are half as deep.
The survey suggests 41 councils in North were reducing child social care funding by an estimated 7.4%, from £1.55bn to £1.43bn; while in in the South councils were cutting funding by an estimated 3.5%, from £1.30bn to £1.25bn.
Further details of the survey and in depth analysis can be found on the BBC website.
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