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Cuts to hit social care in England
Tuesday 14 December 2010
Local authorities face cuts of up to 8.9% under the Local Government Finance Settlement
Last night, the Community Secretary Eric Pickles announced budget cuts to local authorities in England.
Pickles said that, on average, local authorities will have their "spending power" cut by 4.4% next year. There are 36 local authorities that will face the maximum 8.9% cut, including relatively deprived areas, such as Manchester, Doncaster, South Tyneside and Hackney.
On average, councils had expected cuts of up to 20%. However, £85 million of ‘transitional' funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government will be used to cap the cuts at 8.9%.
Pickles described the cuts as "progressive and fair". However, chair of the Local Government Association, Baroness Eaton, said: "This is the toughest local government finance settlement in living memory... Councils now face incredibly tough choices about the services they continue to provide and those they will have to cut."
Mencap's head of campaigns and policy, David Congdon, warned that the reductions will inevitably lead to significant pressure on social care funding.
"The most important thing for local authorities to do now is protect vital frontline services and ensure that the most vulnerable in our society don't fall prey to the postcode lottery," said Congdon. "Many people with a disability need social care services to survive – it is as central to their wellbeing as the services provided by teachers, doctors and nurses. We cannot stress enough how important it is to protect these services."
Read the government's Local Government Finance Settlement