Devon

Social care overspends at Devon, Torbay and Plymouth councils

  • 13 November 2012
  • From the section Devon
Elderly person receiving care
Image caption An ageing population is putting pressure on services, said a report to Plymouth City Council

Devon's three biggest councils have overspent by about £9m on services for vulnerable children and adults.

Devon County Council said that at about halfway through the financial year, it was overspending by £4m, Torbay by £2m and Plymouth by more than £3m.

The authorities blamed budget cutbacks and increased demand for services.

Torbay's Conservative-led unitary council, which has a revenue budget of £124m, is taking £1m from its reserves to balance the books.

Councillor Alan Tyerman, executive lead for finance and audit, said: "The council is facing a number of budget pressures."

'Severe funding shortages'

Labour-run Plymouth City Council, a unitary authority which has a revenue budget of £203m, blamed "demographic changes, increased demand for supported living and reduced income from a number of sources".

A report to the council's cabinet said: "Plymouth is not alone in facing these additional budget pressures.

"Adult social care services across the country are facing severe funding shortages as demand increases due to the ageing population, with people living longer with disabilities or illness."

Conservative-led Devon County Council, which has a revenue budget of £507m, said in a report that the council had tried unsuccessfully to recruit more children's social workers "to ensure that service levels are acceptable".

It blamed part of a £900,000 overspend on social care on the "high costs of agency staff".

The budget is being discussed at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

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