Council calls for solution to funding of adult social care

Wakefield Council is calling for a national solution to the funding of care for older people so that local residents are not having to pick up the extra costs.

The Council Leader has today written to the Government, to urge for a long-term national solution to the funding of adult social care and for local authorities to be reimbursed for costs incurred during the pandemic.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "A solution is urgently needed to find a sustainable and equitable way to fund local Government, with a major urgency around long term funding for adult social care.

"We have been front and centre of the local response to the covid crisis, working hard to support residents and businesses as we face ongoing challenges. Working alongside our partners, we continue to find solutions to support our district's recovery and significant funding is needed to be able to support this.

"Adult social care continues to be a huge issue for every council in this country. The relentless rise in demand means that we must invest to protect these services, as well as unfortunately having no other option but to ask residents for support with another precept.

"This pandemic is affecting people's finances, yet the Government is still forcing them to pick up the bill."

To deliver a balanced budget for 2021/22, the Council is tackling a gap of £25.7m. The budget challenge is caused by risings costs, like inflation, and a continued significant demand for services that look after some of the district's most vulnerable younger and older people.

As well as delivering efficiencies, generating extra income from housing growth and using reserves, the remaining £5.9m budget gap will be met by a proposed Council Tax increase of 1.99% and an Adult Social Care Precept of 2%. This would make the total increase 3.99% - an extra 74p per week for a Band A property.

Cllr Jeffery added: "The best way to fund social care needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency and this cost needs to stop being passed to taxpayers. We are continuing to do all we can do lobby for change."

The Council's budget proposals for 2021/22 are currently out for consultation. People can take part at www.wakefield.gov.uk/budget