Adult social care funding remains and seems likely to continue to remain a highly contentious topic. The precept is a fairly blunt tool that seeks to provide extra funding based on the number of residential properties and their base values set in 1991? Probably not entirely to the needs of 2018, I would suggest.
I have talked to so many councils who have very different problems. For some adult social care is less of a cost pressure than children's. For some rural sparsity and getting to people is a big issue. For some it's about a change in demographics and for some it's the challenges facing health services locally which are many and varied.
The precept feels a blunt and fairly ineffective tool for dealing with this. Better to leave this to local judgement. The Government seems largely committed for funding extra pressures via council tax and business rates retention.
Ultimately councils working effectively together and in partnership with the NHS whether in a county area, or a conurbation to think through what is needed is terms of resources. Centrally directed ringfenced council tax increases needs a big rethink.
A group of Conservative MPs have threatened to vote against the government over funding for social care services in rural areas. At least six and possibly more than 15 Conservative MPs are understood to be prepared to rebel in a House of Commons vote on the issue next week, when the final local government finance settlement is expected to be published. As the Conservatives have formed a minority government, the loss of support from backbenchers could see the party lose the vote. Daniel Kawczynski (Con), MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, and the main leader of the rebels, today tweeted: “Shropshire Council is facing a black hole of £10 million to pay for rising costs of Adult Social Care. I cannot support proposed settlement until government finds more money to help my Council meet these costs