South east services face cash shortfall

Services for older people and those with learning difficulties in south east England are at serious risk because of “unfair” central government funding policies, county councils are warning.

The 11 councils around or near London face a 300m shortfall in public service funding, the all-Conservative South East County Leaders Group said.

The claims were backed by Eileen Means, the Association of Directors of Social Services regional chair, who said new funding plans for local authorities, due to be announced on 30 November, were likely to result in further cuts for social services.

Means, who is also director of social services and housing at Reading, said: “There is a feeling that the government is more likely to protect children’s services, and this could well be at the expense of services for people with learning disabilities and older people, but we wait to see and I hope I am proved wrong.”

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