Demand for social care is increasing
Conwy County Borough Council could face a funding shortfall of £15 million as it manages an ever-increasing demand for its social services.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s Finance and Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Sam Rowlands said the Council was seeing a rise in the number of older people, children, and people with disabilities, who need specialist support.
Whilst the demand for social care is increasing nationally, the percentage of the population in Conwy aged 65 and over is the highest in Wales, which means even more support is needed.
The Council is considering a report which looks at ways of maintaining statutory care services ahead of the provisional settlement figures being released by Welsh Government to local authorities on 9 October. Initial predictions are the money given for 2019/2020 may leave the Council with a £15 million shortfall.
Cllr Rowlands said: “Although the provisional settlement figure won’t be released until 9 October, early indications are this will be another gloomy Welsh Government settlement figure and we will be faced with a significant gap in our finances.
“Protecting the elderly, vulnerable, and youngest members of our society – our parents, grandparents, and children - remains a statutory priority for the Authority.
“We want to give everyone in Conwy and those who use our services the best possible help and support so they can live their lives well. Nationally, we have an ageing population – this is something to embrace as older people have an important role to play in society.
“The majority of our budget goes to schools and social care and we need to ensure we can deliver the best possible services for these groups in the current, challenging financial climate.”
The Authority is faced with making significant cuts to service budgets and councillors are also being asked to consider an increase in the rate of council tax to help plug the anticipated gap.
“We will need to cut our cloth to meet any shortfall caused by the anticipated settlement figure from Welsh Government, but this alone will not meet the possible funding deficit. There will be a need to consider an increase in council tax which, based on a Band D property, could mean an increase of £2 a week. These are not decisions taken lightly but are essential to protect those people who need the Council’s services the most,” added Cllr Rowlands.
Councillors will discuss the report on Monday.
Posted on 26/09/2018