The new financial year is going to be exceedingly tough for local government and for social care in particular.
The impact of COVID-19 has not just hit local government as it has hit every other organisation across the country and the world, but the demands on local government services and responsibilities have been extraordinary. And as most will remember, when Public Health transferred across from central to local government, the budget transferred was substantially less than was currently spent meaning that the massive demands have had to be met from other budgets.
The challenge is going to be immense and whilst budgets have been cut year on year since 2010, the forthcoming financial year will be the worst we have had to face possibly in the history of UK local government.
In addition, dealing with the post-COVID landscape will bring its own challenges and the demands on social care and children’s services will be almost imaginable with solutions deferred for decades. And the imminent re-organisation being proposed to Health and Social Care in the White Paper published in February 2021 will just add to the distractions even if it could produce the solution many have been seeking.