North East Lincolnshire Council could be forced to scale back
preventive services for children in order to tackle a funding
A report by the Audit Commission identifies the children and young
persons’ strategic partnership as having an uncertain future
because of proposed budget cuts across services.
The report, which charts the troubled local authority’s progress
over the past 12 months, says the council faces a “severe budget
crisis and a daunting agenda of major initiatives for recovery”.
The council has recently changed from Labour to Conservative
control, and the new leadership is demanding £8m in service
cuts. It has still to set its council tax, but is likely to keep
the rise below 5 per cent.
The Audit Commission is uncertain what impact this will have on its
priority services, which includes children’s and older people’s
services. The council is considering cutting 200 jobs, but plans to
close its child development centre have been scrapped after a
6,000-signature petition from residents.
The report concludes that there have been improvements in adoption
services and a reduction in the number of looked-after children,
but children’s health services have continued to deteriorate. The
performance action team sent in last year helped to improve
performance management in the department.