Councillor Ruth Buttery

Pledge to support vulnerable despite budget strains

Services for older people and children in Dudley will continue to be a priority despite an overspend of more than £12million putting an “unprecedented strain” on budgets.

Dudley Council spends £110.7million on adult social care and a further £82million on children’s services every year.

But, as also seen nationally in councils up and down the country, costs to provide the services are spiralling with the rising costs of providing care and the increase in the number of people accessing services. Children’s services has also seen an above inflation rise in costs of providing care placements for children.

It means that the adult social care budget is set to be overspent by £7.7million with a further £4.7million overspend on children’s services.

But today, council bosses vowed to put older people and children “first in the queue” when setting a budget early next year.

Councillor Matt Rogers, cabinet member for adult social care, said:

There is no doubt that it is getting more expensive to provide services for older people and there are more people coming into the system. This is causing an unprecedented strain on budgets, but we are working harder than ever before to make sure we continue to get help to the people who need it most.

We have this year launched the Dudley STAR service to ensure people coming out of hospital receive the support they need to remain independent and well and this will help alleviate pressure on NHS services. We will continue to deliver our award-winning services such as the Telecare Service and Dementia Gateways to provide support for people before the need for more formal care.

Many people working in social care will benefit from the increases in the National Minimum Wage and it is essential this is fully funded by government to help the Council support the care sector.

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children’s services, added:

Following budget last year, children’s services were given an additional £1.8million which has meant that we have implemented the family safeguarding model, and along with over £3million investment from the government, we have turned our family centres into family hubs.

This has meant that we can support families more holistically and do more work around early intervention and prevention and help to support families avoid crisis situations.

It is our statutory duty to ensure that our vulnerable residents are our priority.

The council will be outlining its budget proposals in January next year. It will detail financial pressure points and how services will be funded.

A report will go to the council’s cabinet on January 11.

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Dudley Council