Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire council targets social care in £75m cuts plan

The hands of an elderly man
Image caption The council said the number of over-65s in Gloucestershire was increasing by 3.5% a year on average

Social care in Gloucestershire is being targeted by the county council which said it wanted to cut £75m from its budget over the next three years.

The authority has made £114m of savings since 2010 but a new spending plan has now been drawn up for the next period.

It said support for vulnerable people accounted for almost two-thirds of its annual budget and it was now having to help people more than ever.

An eight-week public consultation will seek feedback on the proposals.

'Fundamental change'

The council said it was considering a four-stage approach to:

  • "Provide support for people to do more for themselves and their families in their own communities"
  • "Signpost people to what they need within their own local area"
  • Help people to be independent from "the need for long-term care and support"
  • "Provide specialist support for those who really need" the council's help

Council leader Mark Hawthorne added: "What we're looking at is a fundamental change in our approach to supporting people so we can help them be more independent, and to lead fulfilled lives within their own homes and communities.

"We're seeing an unprecedented increase in the elderly population - of 3.4% a year.

"If you stretch that over 10 years that's a 40% increase in those potentially seeking council services.

"We need to change or we won't be there for those who need us most in 10 years' time," he added.

Over the past four years the council has reduced its staff by 2,500, reduced its debt by £30m and has 82 fewer buildings.

The number of over-65s in the county is increasing by 3.5% a year on average, according to the council.

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