Liverpool Council is facing an £11m overspend in social care in 2010-11 unless cuts to in-house services are made.
Today, the council revealed there were overspends of £4m in children’s services and £7m in adults’ services predicted for this year following the assessment of the first quarter’s figures.
The council attributes £4.7m of the deficit to council-provided home care and day centres. Many of those receiving personal budgets have chosen not to access these services leaving them operating at as low as 40% capacity. Cutting down on these services is expected to form part of any deficit reduction plan.
In children’s services the deficit has been caused by increasing numbers of child protection referrals.
The figures for the deficit do not include savings the council will have to make following yesterday’s announcement by the Department of Communities and Local Government of cuts of 1%-2% cut to councils’ budgets.
Liverpool Council changed hands from the Liberal Democrats to Labour following last month’s elections.
Paul Brant, deputy council leader, said: “I am staggered at the financial time bomb we have uncovered just two weeks after taking control. We are undertaking an urgent review of these figures to make sure the finances do not spiral out of control and we continue to provide care for looked-after children.”
Richard Kemp, Liberal Democrat councillor in Liverpool, said: “He’s playing politics with this. The budget was adequate to deal with the needs and assessments at the time.”
Kemp acknowledged there were pressures on budgets but said these were from factors outside councillors’ control such as the recession and decisions from central government.