Council disappointed in smaller share of social care funding

Release Date: 10/03/2017

Richmond will only receive £1.2m from the Government’s £2bn extra social care budget.

In this week’s budget, the Chancellor announced that the Government would make available an extra £2bn over the next 3 years in a move aimed at “ensuring councils can take immediate action to fund care packages for more people, support social care providers, and relieve pressure on the NHS locally.”

Yesterday, Richmond has discovered that from the £316m London funding ‘pot’, it has been allocated £1.2m. This compares with the average London borough receiving £10m (highest £14m) and neighbouring Kingston receiving around £3m.

The reason for this is an allocation system that doesn’t consider the needs of local populations, but looks at the relative ability to raise money from Council Tax.

Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, Richmond Council Deputy Leader is disappointed that Richmond yet again hasn’t had its fair share of Government funding.

He said:

“On the face of it, the Budget announcement seemed a positive short term fix to bridging the social care funding gap. However today, it seems Richmond residents will receive only a very small slice of the additional money.

“We are an ageing borough. Our highest spend is on social care. It pays for services for our most elderly and vulnerable residents. As our borough ages, so our social care costs rise.

“For years we have been campaigning to the Government for a fairer deal for Richmond. We have already introduced the social care precept into the Council Tax for next year. But, this isn’t filling the funding gap. It is just delaying it for the future.

“By 2019 Richmond Council will have lost 66% of the Government funding it received in 2015/16. Therefore we need to save over £30m by 2019/20. There is a limit to how much our residents can foot the escalating social care bill.”

Updated: 21 June 2017