Leeds City Council has said that the government’s additional funding for councils is not enough to make a ‘real difference.’
This comes as the council confirms its final budget plans for the delivery of £63.9million worth of savings across the 2024/25 financial year.
With the ongoing financial challenges that councils are facing, Leeds City Council is expecting to be allocated around £6.8 million of further government funding support. This will be used to government the increased costs of children’s social care placements, however it has been claimed that this won’t be sufficient to make enough of a difference.
Councillor James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“While we welcome any additional support, the reality is it will regrettably not make much of a real difference given the scale of the situation we are in.
“The position remains perilous for not just us but councils across the country, with spiralling costs and a continuous challenge to make ends meet which has become almost impossible. The result is a budget which includes decisions we did not want to make but now have to reluctantly put forward for approval. They will have an impact on the services people see and receive, but we are committed to doing everything we can to keep providing for all our residents even if some things are going to have to change as the reality is we have no other choice.”
Some of the changes that the council is proposing to bring in savings include:
- Changing fees and charges for adult social care
- Reviewing council care home provision
- Reducing council staffing levels by the end of the 2024/25 financial year
- Reviewing children’s centres and Little Owls Nurseries
As councils continue to struggle financially, this week saw the publication of the ‘financial distress in local authorities’ report from the House of Commons Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee. The report has backed calls from councils to increase funding through the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2024-25, whilst also recommending that the government collaborates with local government to improve understanding of their budgetary pressures when it comes to social care.
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