Services will go as Graph of Doom hits home

County councillor Nick Worth says council budgets will be hit, but care of older people will always take priority. SG110913-223NG
County councillor Nick Worth says council budgets will be hit, but care of older people will always take priority. SG110913-223NG
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More of Lincolnshire’s public services will be slashed as funds are diverted to care for an ‘explosion’ in the number of people aged 75-plus.

Lincolnshire County Council already faces Government-imposed budget cuts of £90million a year every single year to 2019.

But a bigger share of the constantly shrinking pot of cash will be swallowed up by an ever rising adult social care bill.

County councillor Nick Worth said adult social care currently costs £143million and accounts for 30 per cent of council spending.

“It’s predicted to go up to 45 per cent by 2020 and that’s only six years away,” said Coun Worth. “We are getting less and less from the Government and I don’t think people realise the implication of the ever increasing older population and the impact that’s bound to have on budgets.”

Coun Worth, executive member for culture and heritage, said services likely to be hit hardest are those which the council doesn’t have a legal duty to provide – including some within his own portfolio – because care of the elderly will always take priority.

He said: “Older people are always going to be at the top of the pile, and rightly so, but it does mean other county council budgets are going to suffer unless someone can magic some money out of nowhere.”

Lincolnshire Research Observatory says the county’s elderly population will more than double in the 25 years from 2012-2037 – while a London Borough, Barnet, prepared a “Graph of Doom” in 2012 saying within 20 years it would have to scrap all of its services except those for adult social care and children.