Does necessity drive efficiency?

By Lauren McHugh | 17 May 2017

Not unsurprisingly given the drive of austerity, overall actual service expenditure per head has declined from 2011/12 to 2015/16 across all authority types (Figure 1). The most significant reduction has been seen across unitary authorities (-10.75%) whereas London boroughs have seen the least, with only a 2.12% reduction per head over the same period. London boroughs also remain the highest spenders on average. 

In contrast to the general downward trend in overall service expenditure, the cost of delivering social care is increasing year on year for those councils with a responsibility to provide it. In 2011/12, social care accounted for 28.89% of total service expenditure and rose to 30.16% in 2015/16, indicative of the growing demand for social care services. There is growing concern that the increase in demand for social care services will continue to be a burden across local government to such an extent that other services may be stifled, and ultimately cease.

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