Council Leader Ranjit Banwait has cautiously welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement of more money for adult social care – but has repeated calls for fairer treatment for Derby.

Councillor Banwait has written to the Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid, following reports of a deal struck with a Conservative-led authority which was threatening to raise council tax by 15% to meet growing social care costs.

Surrey County Council called off its plans to hold a referendum on the increase, after reaching a “memorandum of understanding” with the Government.

In his Budget, the Chancellor Philip Hammond has committed an extra £2bn for social care nationally by 2020, with £1bn available in the coming year.

Councillor Banwait said:

“While any additional funding for social care is welcome, sadly it won’t be enough.

“I’m pleased that the Government is finally recognising the impact of austerity on local authority services, but I am concerned that a deal like that apparently offered to Surrey is not available to support hard-hit urban councils.

“Council leaders across the country are rightly asking what led to Surrey’s change of heart. I too would be interested to know what deal has been done.”

The growing care needs of an increasingly elderly and vulnerable population will place an additional £14m of pressures on Derby City Council by 2020 – £4.5m in the coming year alone.

The Council has taken up the Government’s offer to increase council tax by an additional 3% for 2017-18 (on top of a basic 1.99% rise), specifically to raise more money for adult social care.

In a letter to Councillor Banwait, the Secretary of State has acknowledged that social care costs are the single biggest pressure facing councils, but Mr Javid says funding levels are “fair”.

It is not yet clear how much of the additional £2bn announced by the Chancellor will be allocated to Derby.

Published: Thursday 9th March, 2017