‘Things will not get better: We need radical action’

By Neil McInroy | 12 February 2020

Talk of our local public services being in crisis is now sadly an embedded part of our local government conversation. Exacerbated by nearly 10 years of austerity, the fact that rising social need is and will not be met by adequate provision is now the condition of many services including adult care and children’s services. Given the longevity and the often fruitless talk about these crises, the time has come to accept that we now have a massive state crisis, which is grounded in inaction.

In adult care and children’s services we have a depressing and miserable state of affairs. £160m of total public spending has been cut from adult care in the last five years, despite rapidly increasing demand due to our ageing population. Indeed, 1.5 million people aged over 65 don’t receive the care and support they need with essential living activities. In children’s services, recent years have seen a 12% increase in spending on late intervention, fuelled by a 17% increase in the number of children in care since 2010. Yet spending on early intervention services for children – including Sure Start centres and youth clubs – has fallen by 49% since 2012. In a stark demonstration of the physical degradation of the public realm, more than 1,000 children’s centres and 600 youth clubs have closed since the onset of austerity.

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Childrens social care Adult social care Austerity Funding Communities Early intervention