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Spalding councillor backs the need to raise council tax to pay for adult social care

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Residents are being asked to help cover the rising cost of adult social care services - with a local carer saying the cash is badly needed.

The county council is proposing a 3% rise in its share of the council tax bill - and says this is needed to part-cover a £13.5 million increase in the cost of running these services.

Adult social care covers a wide range of services - from home support to day centres and other help for those with disabilities or physical and mental illnesses.

The authority says the increase demand for services and the rise in the minimum wage are driving up the cost - and says the only alternative to asking residents to pay more is to raid the reserves and risk being short in the future.

Coun Glynis Scalese
Coun Glynis Scalese

South Holland district councillor Glynis Scalese is also a support worker for Mencap and welcomed the cash for adult social care. She said: “I am in adult social care myself and there’s no enough funding. Some clients don’t get many hours of care because of the funding.”

Coun Scalese said the whole healthcare system had been challenged by the pandemic, but added: “We have all suffered during Covid but particularly adult social care because there isn’t the funding. We could do with more, more, more.”

She added: “Most of the people who receive adult social care haven’t got the money available that we have. They live on a strict budget.”

The council tax rise would only pay two thirds of the rising cost - and simply try to keep up with demand. Coun Scalese said she will be planning fundraising events to help with extras that are needed for Mencap and the Chappell Centre.

County council leader Martin Hill said: “We estimate that our adult care costs will increase by around £13.5m in 2022/23. This is due to a range of factors, including inflation, an increase in the national living wage, and rising demand for support.

“A three percent rise in council tax would generate around £9.5m, helping to balance the budget.

“Without a rise in council tax, we would need to draw on our reserves to make up the shortfall. However, reserves can only be spent once, so this would be a short-term solution and we would need to find savings in future years, which could possibly mean a reduction in services.”

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