Winners and losers
ELDERLY people across Fenland are promised more money from the county s coffers – but some could lose out. A £7.6million increase in spending on older people has been revealed this week, but more than £5million will be cut from adult support. The move
ELDERLY people across Fenland are promised more money from the county's coffers - but some could lose out.
A £7.6million increase in spending on older people has been revealed this week, but more than £5million will be cut from adult support.
The move comes after Cambridgeshire County Council was found to be failing some of the county's most vulnerable adults during a recent Government inspection.
For the fifth year running it was awarded just one star for adult services, leaving it in the bottom 19 per cent of councils across England.
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If the county's budget is given the go-ahead people could pay £1.4million more for social service care; £240,000 will be saved by cutting out 10 care home beds this year with more to follow next year; and day services for people with learning disabilities will be hit by a £50,000 saving.
Almost £3million will be saved from the old people's and occupational therapist service.
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Savings of £2.8million will be made by not giving independent care providers full inflation-linked increases.
Bus services supported by the council will also be hit with a £90,000 saving this year and £180,000 cut next year.
The ruling Conservatives on Cambridgeshire County Council have been accused of increasing spending on older people and giving £6million more for children and young people while making £16million of savings and efficiencies elsewhere.
Liberal Democrat leader David Jenkins said: "They are desperate to get their star ratings up but they are squeezing service providers for the second year in a row.
"At the end of the day they will pull out, or if it is a care home they will put the rates up and we will pay. It's a nasty vicious circle.
"It's a case of smoke and mirrors. They are not digging deep and finding new ways to make savings."
The council's leader, Councillor Keith Walters, said: "We have protected adult social care from taking its share of pain not just because of the star rating. We would like a good star rating but we are not prepared to do things that are not in our priorities.
"Overall the budget has increased by some five per cent against a Government grant increase of just two per cent.
"In some cases, where care contracts are being let, we are urging our staff to absorb some of the inflationary increases by striking harder bargains with suppliers.
"We listened carefully to views expressed in our autumn priorities consultation and people said that we should focus on caring for older people and services for children and young people. We will be putting more money into these areas, but our growing population will soon eat into that cash.