South West councils plead for more cash

councils from across the South West held emergency talks last week
to set up a new regional alliance to highlight a serious funding
crisis facing social services in the area.

authority leaders are warning that they are the worst funded region
in the UK and that a £70m shortfall in care funding will
stretch vital services to breaking point.

spokesperson Chris Davies, director of Somerset social services,
said that unless serious structural underfunding was tackled
quickly the region could be heading for the collapse of some

pressures each authority faces are very similar, with rising demand
for services and rapidly rising costs particularly to fund
increases in payments to independent care homes to stop home

He added
that the funding problems were having serious consequences for
councils in terms of the quality and level of care they are able to
give to vulnerable children.

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