At Full Council earlier this week councillors from all parties had their say on the administration’s proposed spending limits for the Cabinet Members.
The Tories budget proposals saw £9m taken out of the council’s budget, meaning further cuts to public services. Portsmouth’s Labour Group tabled an amendment.
Led by Cllr Stephen Morgan, Labour proposed reducing the cost of democracy, sharing services and reducing management overheads.
These changes would create enough savings to invest over £850,000 in local social care services.
In recent weeks, commentators across the political spectrum have said such services are on the brink of financial collapse.
Cllr Stephen Morgan said:
“The biggest service area hit in the administration’s proposals is social care. And this is our biggest concern. Not only is social care being hit locally, but it even failed to get a mention in last month’s Autumn Statement.
Council funding for adult social care has fallen by 11% on average since 2010, and as much as 30% in some areas of the country.
And we know with a break down in care, older people will end up in hospital costing the state even more.
These services for our loved ones are at breaking point. That’s why our budget put further investment in these essential frontline services”.
The Labour Group proposed:
- using the savings identified to invest in social care services
- unleashing the creativity of the voluntary sector to meet local demands and support the community
- redesigning the criteria for an unspent voluntary sector fund to focus the scheme on providing services which deliver or support social care priorities.
Regrettably the Labour amendments were rejected by the other political groups on the city council.
Cllr Morgan added:
“Let us move away from the squabbling, put politics to one side, and find a solution to this social care crisis”.