Warning over elderly care funds

Failure to reform care for the elderly could force the closure of parks, libraries and public toilets as resources are diverted to "plug the gap" in care funding, the leaders of every major council in England and Wales have warned.

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LGA: 'Councils from all parties' want elderly care reform

Sir Merrick Cockell, the chairman of the Local Government Association, said councils from all parties are united in the call for reform.

Councils across the political divide are united in calling on government to work with us to truly undertake radical reform and ensure the way we offer support to older and disabled people is fairer, simpler and fit for purpose.

We can't dodge the fact that the cost of social care already takes up more than 40 per cent of council budgets.

Yet councils, who are already facing an estimated £1 billion reduction in social care budgets, will see almost £2 billion a year added to the annual cost of care by 2015, because of our ageing population.

Failure to tackle the funding in the long awaited government White Paper could mean a bleak outlook with services like road maintenance, parks, leisure centres and public toilets becoming increasingly limited as councils have to divert more and more money to making sure vulnerable people are cared for.

LGA wants to cap public spending on elderly care

Sir Merrick, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council in London, asks the Government to commit to capping the amount people will have to pay for their elderly care and working to ensure it is successfully implemented.

Last year an official commission chaired by the economist Andrew Dilnot recommended that the state should pick up the cost of care beyond £35,000, at an estimated cost to the public purse of less than £2 billion. The LGA letter says the proposal is an expensive but worthy investment.

We recognise that Dilnot comes with a price tag which, in the current economic climate, is challenging. But across the political spectrum at the LGA we believe it is a cost worth paying.

That is why we are working on an offer to the Government that will set out what local government can do to make Dilnot affordable, workable and well understood by those who would determine its success at a local level.

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Call to look at 'whole picture' when reforming care for elderly

In his letter to the leaders of all three main political parties, Sir Merrick, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council in London had suggestions for reforming care for the elderly:

We need a solution which includes fair funding and gives individuals' peace of mind; but that also takes account of the Law Commission report and makes the system simpler. Only by looking at the whole picture and bringing all these strands together will we be able to reform the system to secure the transparency and stability that is so desperately needed.

The letter also calls for improved efficiency in reform, including pooled budgets to provide further benefits for individuals.

LGA urges politicians to reform care for OAPs

Sir Merrick Cockell, the chairman of the Local Government Association, warned about the consequences if there was a failure to reform care for the elderly, in a letter to the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties:

It will increasingly limit the availability of valuable local discretionary services as resources are drawn away to plug the gap in care funding. For too long we have toyed with adult social care reform and failure to act now may be the failure that tips the system over.

Nobody - whether from central or local government, providers, the third sector or the public - wants that to happen so it is incumbent upon us all to bring about real change. This absolutely must include funding and we urge the government to be courageous.

Failing to reach an agreement soon on how to pay for care for the elderly could set a long-term solution back years, the letter cautioned.

Town halls warn over OAP care costs

Pensioners Credit: ITV News

Failure to reform care for the elderly could force the closure of parks, libraries and public toilets as resources are diverted to "plug the gap" in care funding, the leaders of every major council in England and Wales have warned.

In a letter to the leaders of all three main political parties, local government bosses have urged politicians to commit to reforming funding, saying any loss of momentum would be "dangerous".

The letter, written by Sir Merrick Cockell, the chairman of the Local Government Association, which speaks for almost 400 councils in England and Wales, warns lack of action would exacerbate problems of an "already over-stretched" care system and would have a knock-on effect to other services.

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