Council pledges to carry on meeting needs of communties

STAFFORDSHIRE County Council will continue to manage its finances effectively while dealing with the costs of the coronavirus pandemic.

At a recent meeting of the authority’s cabinet, it was made clear that the county council would continue to do what it takes to support Staffordshire communities.

Mike Sutherland, cabinet member for Finance, said: "Coping with the pandemic has put extra pressures on local authority finances, but we continue to do what is needed and we will spend what is required.

"However, we will manage the finances carefully and effectively and get best value for money for residents.”

Cabinet members heard that the authority is forecasting an overspend of £10.1 million this year, mostly due to the effects of Covid-19.

At the same time a £38 million ‘battle fund’ has been created to support care homes, businesses, families and schools to deal with the challenges.

That has included the care sector, where the county council has helped almost 350 care providers and provided nearly two million pieces of personal protective equipment.

Philip Atkins, Leader of the county council, said the authority was doing all that it could, but also needed help from the Government to face long term issues such as funding adult social care and the provision of children’s and family services.

He said: "Throughout the pandemic we have continued to support those who need us, including the care sector, vulnerable families and local businesses.

"Lockdown restrictions are easing, but there is still a great deal to be done to help our economy get back on its feet locally and nationally.

"At the same time one of our biggest challenges is funding adult social care and support for vulnerable children.

"This year, before the pandemic began, two-thirds of the council’s annual budget was allocated to providing to those areas, but we see that costs continue to rise and that is a serious concern for the future.

"We need central Government to work with us in finding a long term sustainable solution to the national problem of providing social care.”


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