Warning that £13m reserves could have to be used to cope with pressures on Norfolk social services

Norfolk County Council could have to call on its reserves to provide vital services for vulnerable people. Norfolk County Council could have to call on its reserves to provide vital services for vulnerable people.

Monday, July 7, 2014
1:09 PM

Pressures on services to help the most vulnerable adults in Norfolk are so great that providing them is likely to mean multi-million pound reserves are used up within three years.

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Councillors have been warned that some £13m held in Norfolk County Council’s reserves could have to be whittled away by 2017 to provide adult social services.

That sparked concern from members of the council’s adult social services committee at today’s meeting.

Conservative councillor Margaret Somerville said she feared the council was reduced to “crisis management” while fellow Tory Cliff Jordan said the authority was heading into “deep trouble”.

The meeting heard how the authority was forecast to have overspent by almost £4m on buying care for older people, the bulk of which was for residential care, while some savings outlined in the Big Conversation - a package of cuts launched in 2010 - had yet to be achieved.

Harold Bodmer, director of adult social services, said a debate was needed over whether the NHS should invest more in prevention, to stop people ending up in hospital in the longer term.

He said: “This reflects a budget which has always been under huge pressure and we have made significant savings of some £70m in recent years.

“By working more closely with the NHS, our objective is to get them to invest much more in social care.

“They, and we, know that keeps people out of hospital.

“I think that is the way we will have to go to make social care sustainable.”

The committee also heard warnings from the council’s interim finance director Peter Timmins that the authority was heading into “shark infested waters” due to further funding pressures.

Liberal Democrat councillor Brian Watkins said: “It’s an extremely gloomy outlook. I think this is a case of things can only get worse.

“We are going to have austerity for many years to come and are going to have to make bold decisions about our priorities as government money is reduced.”

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6 comments

  • The closure of day-centres across the county, decimating care in the community was foolhardy to say the least. Community care - Norfolk County Council hasn't got a clue. It is not the job of the NHS to provide social care, they have their hands full providing medical care. Where is the opposition to the cuts, the national and local politicians when told to jump say how high.

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    Gina

    Monday, July 7, 2014

  • Vote UKIP get Labour... carefull what you wish for.

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    Andy T

    Monday, July 7, 2014

  • Where has the supposedly ring-fenced money for public health ended up?

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, July 7, 2014

  • ".....is likely to mean multi-million pound reserves are used up within three years." £13 million. Is that all. These reserves will be wiped out at a stroke with the compensation payable for that dammed incinerator.

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    "V"

    Monday, July 7, 2014

  • Why not cancel that blasted road to nowhere that is not essential, Social Care is!!

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    blackdog2

    Monday, July 7, 2014

  • How about we stop wasting money on "Nice to Haves".

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    Crazy

    Monday, July 7, 2014

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