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Social Services: Children

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 6th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Beecham Lord Beecham Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on children's services of the overall reduction by 29 per cent of Government funding for local authority children's departments since 2010.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Local government services, including children’s services, are funded through the local government finance settlement. Funding is generally unringfenced to allow local authorities the freedom and flexibility to set their own service budgets to meet local needs. Spending Review 2015 made available over £200 billion across this five-year spending period.

In recognition of the pressures on services such as social care, at Autumn Budget the Chancellor announced an extra £410 million to address pressures on adult and children social care services. In total local authorities have been given access to £46.4 billion in 2019-20; a cash-increase of 2.8 per cent from £45.1 billion in 2018-19.

Central government funding in isolation cannot provide a true representation of local authority finances, much of which is locally raised such as council tax. Furthermore, since 2010 the responsibilities of local authorities and the makeup of their funding streams have changed significantly, for example, with the introduction of the Business Rates Retention Scheme in 2013/14 which allows local authorities to keep local growth in their business rates income.

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