Councils receive additional £1.6bn to cope with spiralling social care costs

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An additional £1.6bn has been pledged by the government to help local councils cope with the costs caused by the coronavirus outbreak, including the extra millions spent on social care.

The announcement by the government on Saturday, followed a warning that some councils could go bankrupt under the extra financial strain caused by the pandemic.

The funding, which means councils can provide vital services, including, adult social care, follows an initial £1.6bn in March, which has already been spent with £1bn going on a 10% rise in care providers fees, an amount that was described by Care England CEO, Professor Martin Green OBE, as “simply insufficient”.

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Announcing the additional £1.6bn for councils over the weekend, Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: ”We stand shoulder to shoulder with local government and my priority is to make sure they are supported so they can continue to support their communities through this challenging time.”

The government said £850 million in social care grants would be paid up front this month in a move aimed at helping to ease immediate pressures on local authority cash flows.

President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Julie Ogley, said: “This funding will help ensure that social care as part of the wider local government family continues to be there when we need it most.”

LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson added: “We are pleased the government continues to recognise the huge efforts councils and our staff are making and has responded quickly to our deep concerns about the financial strains being placed on them by providing more desperately-needed new funding. Alongside previous money and measures, this will this give councils breathing space.”

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