Bournemouth Council’s cabinet on Wednesday recommended a six percent increase in council tax for the coming year.
The council expects a £4m reduction in funding this year as well as no core government funding by 2020/21.
Bournemouth Councillor John Beesley said on Wednesday that ‘the ongoing challenges for the funding of Adults’ and Children’s social care leaves Council finances for all services on a knife-edge.’
Three percent of the tax rise is designated specifically for Adults’ Social Care and the council stated that 79% of the councils proposed budget will be allocated to maintaining adults and children’s services.
In total, approximately two thirds of council tax goes towards Adults’ and Children’s Services, leaving the other third for Police, Fire and other council services.
The Local Government Association has called for more funding from central government. Lord Porter, chairman of the association said “Children’s services, adult social care and homelessness services are at a tipping point as a result of funding gaps and rising demand and increasingly little is left to fund other services.”
The Breaker asked members of the public what they thought of the increase.
Spending has increased for both services since 2012 but a sharp decrease can be seen in spending on children’s social care in the last three years.
In the 2017/18 budget, the council allocated 75% of it’s overall budget to social care, attributing the need for more spending to the growing elderly community and looked after children (LAC’s). While the number of LAC cases has decreased in recent years, the complexity of these cases has meant an increase high cost care packages.
The rises come after Northamptonshire County Council has issued a Section 114 notice, and are the first to do so in 20 years. The notice means that the council is not confident that it can bring its spending under control.
The council said in a statement on it’s website that “No new expenditure is permitted, with the exception of safeguarding vulnerable people and statutory services.”