Hampshire County Council May Cut Social Care Funding From Budget
CARE homes, school transportation for children with disabilities, the arts and entertainment are all on a board’s chopping block, politicians have warned.
This week, Hampshire County Council unveiled its initial plans to plug a budgeted £ 80million black hole by 2023.
£ 40.6million will be cut from the adult services and public health budget, with an additional £ 20million for children’s services and £ 3.3million for culture and communities.
The cuts, while deemed necessary by senior councilors, will have a devastating impact on the lives of people and businesses across the county.
Liberal Democrat Adult Services and Public Health spokesperson Cllr David Harrison has warned that even nursing homes are no longer safe.
He said: “We really face the prospect of nursing home closures in the future, just because they are not financially sustainable.
“If a care home isn’t full, there’s a problem, because we can’t support them so much anymore – and everything with counseling comes down to money now.
“All Conservative advisers voted in favor of these cuts, while everyone votes against. We are heading for a crisis, plain and simple.
Senior Executive Board Member for Adult Services and Public Health, Cllr Liz Fairhurst, said: “Each series of successive savings is harder to come by, especially with increasing demand for support, increasing pressures on costs, as well as the potential long-term impact of Covid -19 and the financial challenges faced by NHS organizations that directly impact social care.
“The government’s recent announcement may go some way to alleviate the huge financial outlay that local authorities face in providing social care, but the impact will not be felt for some time and will not reverse the need for severe short-term savings. ‘
In the cuts proposed by the Culture and Community Council, £ 550,000 will be taken from the library services budget and £ 915,000 from business services.
A further £ 515,000 will be cut from the countryside and outdoor centers, which include the national parks.
These plans were debated at the Culture and Communities Select Committee earlier this week.
Committee Chairman, Conservative Cllr Rob Mocatta, said: “Our culture has struggled during the lockdown and it needs all the support we can give it.
“What we are proposing is to try to generate more income, focusing on that so that we don’t have to make such deep cuts.
“Event and project funding is an absolute requirement, but the money is tighter than ever and it all comes down to it. ”
Liberal Democrat Culture and Communities spokesperson Cllr Peter Chegwyn said: “The culture sector is just starting to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the county council will give it a kick in the teeth.
“With the end of the grant budget, many events and projects simply won’t exist – they can’t function without it.
“The bottom line now is that everything has to be self-sufficient, but the arts and entertainment don’t work that way. Today more than ever, we must support the culture sector, not decimate it. ‘
As previously reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Hampshire County Council is also proposing to cut £ 2.5million from the home-to-school transport fund, which allows young people with disabilities to travel to and return to school. each day.
All budget proposals must be approved by the respective executive advisers, before going through the cabinet and then by the full council.