Councils made £200 million savings in adult services

Councils made the biggest efficiency savings in adult social services in 2005-6, according to government figures published today.

Councils saved just over £200 million in adult social services, compared with £76 million in children’s services, £52 million in Supporting People, and £16 million in homelessness.

Overall, councils made £1.2 billion of efficiency savings in 2005-6, exceeding the amount predicted at the start of the financial year, the figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show. This followed savings of £700 million in 2004-5.

The DCLG said the figures indicated councils were “well on their way” to meeting the £3 billion Gershon savings target a year ahead of schedule.

Local government minister Phil Woolas said: “I am pleased that these savings can now be used to improve front-line services for communities or to keep down council tax increases. However, efficiency is not about making cuts, it is about working in smarter ways.”

Local Government Association chair Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said the figures were “good news”.

He added: “There is more for us to do, but according to the Treasury, councils are making more efficiency savings than anywhere else in the public sector.”

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