Call for fairer county funding featured in The Times

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2017 | 09 January 2017

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The County Councils Network’s call for fairer funding for rural authorities was featured in a story on adult social care in the Times this weekend.

In the article, CCN’s health and social care spokesman Cllr Colin Noble made the point that due to historical underfunding of county authorities, rural taxpayers were “already shouldering an unfair burden” as councils ponder whether to take up an extra 1% on the social care precept in 2017/18.

CCN has argued the historical underfunding of counties, who receive less per head funding for elderly residents compared to any other local authority type, must be addressed as part of a long-term solution to making social care sustainable.

You can read the Times piece here.

And an article in the MJ here.

You can read CCN’s latest adult social care report here.

Below is the CCN quote distributed to the media from Cllr Noble.

“County authorities receive significantly lower funding for social care compared to other local authorities, and independent research showed that they have experienced the deepest cuts in funding for care services since 2013. This disproportionate underfunding compared to urban areas, especially inner London, does not take into account the demands and demographics of counties and has resulted in higher council tax bills for rural residents as county authorities look to make up the shortfall in funding to meet the growing needs of elderly and vulnerable residents. 

“With that in mind, calling on taxpayers to contribute even more to solving a national crisis when they are already shouldering an unfair burden has put county authorities in a difficult position; and many will be reluctant to ask rural residents to pay more, regardless of elections coming up.

“Although the measures announced last month offer some short-term and upfront investment, the reality is that they are not the long-term solution for social care as no new money has been found. This is especially true when considering that many CCN member councils could be no better off by the end of this Parliament by taking the 3% increase per year over the next two years instead of the original plans. Some councils will draw down reserves to keep residents’ bills as low as possible, but neither this approach, nor local taxation, offers the sustainability social care needs.

“Counties have the largest and fastest growing elderly populations, and face the most acute social care pressures. Looking ahead, CCN will be engaging with the Government on sustainable long term solutions, with fairer funding at the crux of this, and to reform the health and social care system.”