The annual ADASS budget survey is one of the best bellwethers in the public sector.  This year I would make three points in response to the data

1. That we have Councils performing, innovating (and frankly left standing) in ASC is testament to good and resilient leadership in the sector.  There is courage aplenty, but also notes of hope for the future.  The performance on DTOC is amazing given the cuts.  Moreover, the sector is starting to see what could be achieved beyond a Green Paper.  We hope the government doesn't disappoint.

2.  There is enormous work to do in relation to care markets.  I don't criticise Councils but we have to have better local oversight, active risk management and more intervention to shape markets.  We need a national conversation about the skills and capacities required.

3.  Unmet need is the darker side of demand management.  It is starting to come through the survey strongly and we need to understand it better. If we can't afford services, how else can a Council's duty of care be fulfilled?