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Local authority statutory duties in relation to children

Alison Michalska, ADCS Immediate Past President, said:

“Local authorities have around 200 statutory duties in relation to children including around child protection, children in need, special educational needs and disabilities, home to school transport, care leavers – the list goes on. That we are starting to see a trend in local authorities stepping away from providing discretionary services should serve as a warning to the Treasury. Our funding has reduced in real-terms by 49% since 2010 whilst demand and the number of duties most definitely have not. We have worked hard to make savings but children’s services are now facing a funding gap of £2 billion by 2020. As a result, all councils are being forced to make counterintuitive decisions like cutting the very services we know help children and families earlier and prevent the escalation of need to crisis point. This is neither sensible nor an effective use of public money. We hope government hear and, crucially, act by plugging the funding gap in children’s services to prevent us from becoming a wholly ‘blue light service’.”


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