Cornwall Council calls for more funding for children's services.

Cornwall Council is supporting calls from a cross party group of influential MPs to address the crisis in funding for children’s services. 

According to a new report from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee Children’s Services have reached crisis point and need at least £3.1bn in additional funding over the next five years.

Continue reading

Cornwall Council’s Deputy Leader, Julian German, welcomes the report and said: “Reports like this show that some ministers are starting to listen to us about the growing shortfall in funding for Children’s Services.  We will continue to campaign for the government to not only increase funding to meet growing need but reform the way money is allocated to areas.  Cornwall has some of the lowest funded Children’s Services in the country.

“Funding from central government does not reflect levels of need.  It’s based on an historical and outdated funding formula that disadvantages children in Cornwall.”

Data from Eurostat shows that Cornwall is the second most deprived area in northern Europe, yet it receives less funding per child than over 100 other local authorities from across England and Wales.  As the increases are based on percentages that gap increases.

In the committees report,’ Funding of Local Authority Children’s Services’, the group also calls for the government to commit in advance of the Spending Review to continuing the Troubled Families programme beyond 2020.

The MPs said that the government should consider a central investment fund for children’s services as a whole, rather than assigning pots of funding for specific areas.

They recommend that the Competition & Markets Authority should investigate the rising costs of independent children’s care placements and profit levels.  They also recommend that the government should consider central investment to increase the supply of places to meet the growing demand.

Cabinet Member for Children and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken, said: “The government needs to accept the growing need for Children’s Services and match that growing need with increased funding.  It also needs to act to stop the gross inequality in the way Children’s Services are funded.  A child in need in Cornwall has as much right to well-funded services as a child living in all those other better funded areas.

“We have taken all possible steps to make the best use of our funding by creating an integrated Children’s Service but we are on the red line. The Government needs to prioritise children and young people and provide appropriate levels of funding based on deprivation and need.”

The Committee follows a long line of organisations, including the Local Government Association, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a wide range of children’s charities and the Association of Directors for Children's Services, in raising the alarm over shortfalls in funding levels.

Councillor German concluded: “We will continue to put pressure on the government to reassess the national funding formulas, for our schools and children’s social care.  The children of Cornwall deserve a better deal.”