"It buys us a year": North Yorkshire County Council reacts to Government funding announcement

North Yorkshire County Council.
North Yorkshire County Council.

The largest county authority in England has welcomed an influx of Government funding, but has warned that year-on-year support is needed to address spiralling costs in special educational needs and adult social care.

In a statement, North Yorkshire County Council said the one year spending announcement by Chancellor Sajid Javid has addressed the authority's two greatest funding pressures: services for children and young people with special educational needs, and adult social care.

North Yorkshire believes it could receive up to £17m next year as part of the £8.1 billion allocated for Special Educational Needs services and adult social care.

The Government has also stated that it will continue, for another year, the short term grants in adult social care which have preserved vital care services and led to important integration work with the NHS.

“This vital additional funding is very welcome and hugely significant," North Yorkshire leader Carl Les said following the announcement.

“This shows that the Government has listened carefully to the pressing case we have made loud and clear in recent months alongside colleagues in the County Councils Network.

“Together we and other council colleagues have set out the urgent need for new funding for children with SEN and in adult social care, along with the continuation of essential grant funding."

The county council will need to look at the fine detail of today’s announcement and how the money will actually be distributed, details of which will not come until later when the Local Government Finance Settlement is announced. A multi-year Spending Review is also due to take place sometime in 2020.

However, Gary Fielding, North Yorkshire’s Director for Resources, said long-term Government support was required to address growing pressure in special education and adult social care.

“The current settlement is very welcome and will help considerably to ease pressure short-term. It buys us a year," he said.

"But the long-term pressures we face, particularly in adult social care and in children’s special educational needs, continue to increase at a rate greater than everybody anticipated and we need a long-term solution to address those pressures.

“We also need the Government to address the issue of fairer funding for rural and shire counties which face the largest funding gap and have been historically underfunded and for North Yorkshire’s residents who pay more council tax than their urban counterparts.

“Nevertheless we are relieved by the Chancellor’s statement today, and hope this uplift continues in the coming years.”