Children's services and bin collections at risk as cash-strapped councils face going bust – is your area at risk? | The Sun
ONE in ten county councils face going bust and have today demanded emergency funds to protect kids and keep bin collections going.
Cash-strapped districts joined town halls and city councils in warning that budgets could be stretched by more than £600 million – with expensive children's services most at risk.
In a letter to ministers, councillors said they're "running out of road".
A combination of soaring inflation and a surge in demand for children's services have led to historically high overspends.
Almost half of the estimated £600m extra spending has been attributed to kids' care needs.
Without an urgent cash injection bin collections face huge threats too.
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The County Councils Network predict that by 2026 councillors across England will face a £4bn funding black hole.
Over spending alongside future funding shortfalls mean that one in ten "well-managed" councils are unsure or not confident they can balance their books this year.
This is despite council chiefs already preparing to make more than £2bn worth of "challenging" savings and service cuts over a three year period.
Cllr Barry Lewis, CCN Vice Chair and Finance Spokesperson, said: “This analysis lays bare the financial challenge facing county authorities. Historic in-year pressures are worsening an already bleak financial outlook, meaning our councils are facing down the barrel of a £4bn funding black hole.
“The majority of the £639m of additional and unexpected spending this year is simply outside of councils’ control. The number of vulnerable children requiring care has risen dramatically post-pandemic, while inflation and a broken provider market in statutory care placements mean councils face no choice but to pay spiralling fees."
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He added: “County authorities will do all they can to bring down costs over the coming period and have pencilled in £2bn of unprecedented further savings to help balance the books. But after a decade of continuous cutbacks, the scale of reductions and use of reserves needed to fill the funding shortfall is simply unsustainable.
“Last year the Chancellor stepped in with much needed additional resources for adult social care. We now need the same priority to be given to vulnerable children, providing emergency funding this year and next."
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