Derby City Council has written to The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government appealing for the completion of the fairer funding review for Local Government.
The letter, signed jointly by Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of the Council and Councillor Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, sets out the position facing this, and many other councils, around the country, of growing demand and cost pressures associated with adult social care and children’s services. The Local Government Association which represents all Councils has estimated a cumulative funding shortfall of £4.1 billion for both sectors in 2019/20.
The Council’s own July 2019 Medium Term Financial Plan has identified the need for £20 million of savings to be delivered in the next three years 2020/21 and 2022/23 despite the ever increasing demands we are facing.
The letter requests, ‘no further delay to the Fair Funding Review, and full implementation of the Business Rate Retention scheme’ urging the Minister to consider the recommendations of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s final report into funding for children’s services, as well as the LGA’s urgent calls for financial sustainability as part of the Spending Review 2019.
It also asks the government to listen to professionals in the sector who say evidence suggests services supporting vulnerable residents are being pushed to breaking point.
For example, in Derby there was a 41% increase in care applications for children and High Needs Block for children with special education needs and disabilities also faced a 66% increase in Education, Health and Care Plans being issued. If these trends continue, councils nationwide will be unable to fulfil their moral responsibilities to help those individuals most in need.
The letter concludes:
‘Councils are bold, dynamic, ambitious organisations that have the power to transform communities and improve the lives of the residents we serve, but without fair funding and financial sustainability this will no longer be possible.’