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Wed, 06 Jul 22 11:59

ADCS responds to IFS research on Covid-19 and council funding

Commenting on IFS research on Covid-19 and council funding Matt Dunkley, Chair of the ADCS Resources and Sustainability Policy Committee said:

“We agree that the pandemic has created a ‘perfect storm’ for council finances as costs have significantly increased and many vital income streams have reduced. Emergency funding from government has helped in the first phase, but according to the report without additional financial support councils face a £2 billion funding gap this year. Additional financial support for councils will be particularly important for children’s social care, and it’s crucial this is available when we reach our peak of activity. We expect this will arrive in the autumn when children go back to school and the hidden harms from the past six months become apparent.

“If we don’t get the funding we need councils will have to make difficult choices about the future of valued local services and exhaust their reserves when we should be focussing efforts on our ongoing responses to the virus and helping children, families and communities recover. The research suggests potential ways the expected funding shortfall could be mitigated, including via increased grant funding from government or targeted support for councils. While these things may help they are short term solutions to a long term problem; the chronic underfunding of local government and children’s services, we need an ambitious long term funding strategy to address this. Children’s life chances depend on it.”


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