County council leader welcomes new Chancellor’s Budget plans

Staffordshire County Council Leader Philip Atkins.

SPENDING announced by Chancellor Sajid Javid to support children with special educational needs and disabilities, tackle climate change and  help towards meeting growing social care costs, have been welcomed by the Leader of Staffordshire County Council.

Philip Atkins said the task for the county council now was to examine the Chancellor’s 12-month spending review in detail, before it could be clear what and when the benefits to the council, to residents and to businesses may be.

Coun Atkins said: By taking early proactive measures, as a county council we  have successfully managed some significant financial pressures and continue to be clear to Government that the challenge of meeting increasing costs for care remain huge.

“The review will hopefully go some way to easing these pressures in the short-term and I am pleased in particular that the Chancellor has confirmed the £700m spending boost for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

“It is important to remember that this review covers just 12 months and we will now need to look in detail at what this means for Staffordshire in the both the short-term and the longer term before responding to Government.”

The County Councils Network, which represents counties in local government, has said that its research has shown that councils will face a funding hap of around £7bn by 2024/25.

In the review, the Chancellor announced: • That local councils will get £1.5bn for social care next year
• There will be £432m in additional funds for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to tackle climate issues. The County Council has already declared a climate change emergency
• An additional £700m to support children with special educational needs next year

Coun Atkins added: These remain uncertain times nationally, but as a county council our focus is on ensuring we are able to support the most vulnerable with the money available, empowering healthier and more independents communities, creating better job, attracting investment and growing our economy for the benefit of Staffordshire families and businesses.”