- Plymouth City Council’s Labour and Conservative Leaders joined Luke Pollard for urgent meeting with Children’s Minister to discuss care crisis
- Concerns raised over a small number of exceptionally expensive care packages is “sinking the care budget” in Plymouth
- All Plymouth’s children deserve first-class care but national funding is required to support a small number of budget-busting care packages for some of the city’s most vulnerable children.
Children’s Minister, Nadhim Zahawi MP, heard from a cross-party delegation from Plymouth that extra funds need to be found to support exceptional care costs for some of Plymouth’s most vulnerable children. Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of the City Council, and Councillor Ian Bowyer joined Luke Pollard MP for the meeting with the Minister after Luke raised concerns about the funding for children’s social care in a debate in the House of Commons.
Approximately two thirds of Plymouth City Council’s budget goes on adult and children’s social care and Luke had raised concerns that a small number of exceptional cases with large costs were “sinking the care budget in Plymouth.
Luke Pollard MP said:
“There is a real funding crisis in children’s social care. In Plymouth our budgets are being sunk by the exceptional cost of caring for a very small number of very vulnerable children with complex needs. This is not the fault of these children but their high care costs means less money is available for prevention and care for other children. That is why I wanted the Minister to hear how councils like Plymouth need national funding so the costs are not picked up by local taxpayers. All our children deserve the very best of care but there simply isn’t enough money to go round and that is why Ministers should help councils to support these vulnerable children.”
Councillor Tudor Evans said:
“It was good to have the opportunity to look the Minister in the eye and explain how a handful of exceptional cases in children’s care can put already tight financial plans in jeopardy. We were able to make a few requests to ease the difficulties and suggestions for using existing precedents to meet Treasury demands.”
“The problem we have in Plymouth is really difficult, and we know of many other Councils with similar issues. However, when we have to deal with exceptional cases costing many thousands of pounds a week it quickly jeopardises our ability to deliver services to all Plymouth residents. We have suggested to the Minister that a scheme be devised to limit the exposure and risk to Councils, which would more fairly share the costs between Government and ourselves. The Minister gave an assurance that he would consider this proposal.”