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Solace blog

16th November 2023

LGC Article: Autumn Statement must address children’s social care crisis, Patrick Melia

“The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in, and we’re getting to that time of year when thoughts turn to curling up in front of a classic film. And one classic film – or more specifically, a scene – springs to my mind. It involves a young orphan asking for “more”.

But crucially when Oliver Twist stepped forward, he was asking not just for himself but for all the children in the workhouse because they needed more to be able to live the life they deserved. In the same way, after years of austerity and resulting cuts to community and early years services, followed by the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis, councils are now asking for more funding from the government not for ourselves, but on behalf of our communities because that is what they need to be able to live the lives they deserve.

It might not be a fashionable thing to say but lately local government as a whole has not fared as badly financially as in the years leading up to the pandemic. Last year councils received an indicative two-year settlement and some extra funding for some of the most acute service pressures. While we’re grateful to the government for listening then, we need it to do so again because – due to a range of factors, most of which are out of councils’ direct control – the sector’s finances remain far from rosy…”

Click here to read the full article by Patrick Melia, Solace lead policy spokesperson for Finance, on the LGC.