'No way to run any department' - anger at lack of social care cash

Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance at Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

A leading Conservative county councillor has taken aim at his own government over a lack of long-term cash to pay for services to help Norfolk's most vulnerable people.

Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council needs to find just over £39m of savings next year, including £17.7m from adult social services and £8.7m from children's services.

Council departments are being asked to come up with savings, with proposals going out for public consultation in the autumn.

But the matter came before the council's scrutiny committee on Wednesday, when Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance, said Norfolk people faced another council tax rise to try to cover the cost of increased demand on social care services.

And he said: "Government funding of adult social care is not adequate, because it is not a long-term solution.

"We are being given short-term fillips each time. That is no way to run any department, particularly adult social care.


You may also want to watch:


"There can be no long-term solution to local authority funding without a long-term solution to adult social care funding."

Mr Jamieson said he thought the government was moving towards a solution, with reports ministers were considering a 1pc national insurance rise to generate money to pay for social care.

Most Read

But he said he feared it was now likely the government would announce just a one-year settlement, rather than a more long-term financial package.

He said: "I am disappointed if we are seeing things kicked back again, because within the context of Norfolk we need a long-term solution and clearly a comprehensive spending review for three years."

Mr Jamieson said some savings due to be made this year had not happened due to the Covid pandemic.

But he said plans to transform services were "not some sort of Draconian code for cutting services".

John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council and chair of the District Councils Network recently suggested responsibility for social care should be passed from councils to the NHS.

James Bullion, Norfolk County Council's director of adult social care, said he "totally disagreed" with that idea.

Sajid Javid, communities secretary breaks his silence. Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Health secretary Sajid Javid. - Credit: PA

New health secretary Sajid Javid said, earlier this month, that ministers would have a "general sense of direction" on a long-awaited green paper on adult social care reform "quite soon".

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter