24 hours and we still haven’t heard exactly how Surrey council have been able to cancel a proposed referendum to hike their council tax by 15 per cent. An amount that the council said was needed to cover the impending gap in social care.
Up to Tuesday this was nailed on and it didn’t bode well for many other councils in poorer areas where the funding gap is far greater, where a hike in council tax would need to be higher and would drive many people to food banks, living in areas where investment has been lacking for years where people depend on added benefits simply to survive.
The referendum for the fifteen per cent social care levy was cancelled with the claim that the funds would be found elsewhere. That’s a lot of money to find.
Up pops ‘Nick’ who has a text conversation with David Hodge Chief Executive of Surrey Council where it appears the money is coming and the ‘R’ can be cancelled.
This week the BBC has concentrated on the stress the NHS is under and the many reasons for it. The biggest issue appears to be the number of beds taken up by the elderly many with dementia who are well enough to go home but where there’s no social care in place.
We could argue the local authorities involved may have dragged their feet but the fact is that’s what you do when your gap in funding and the cuts in all public services begin to make each one as important as the other.
What is different about this is that after 12 months of constant damning figures and news stories of babies on floors and people dying on trollies, surgeries including vital cancer surgery cancelled and ambulance staff and paramedics stuck in corridors unable to hand emergency patients over; we don’t seem to have moved to a better place?
So it came as a bit of surprise that one area of the country doesn’t appear to be suffering as much as anywhere else.
Surrey has 11 MP’s and they are all Conservatives. To suddenly find this money when MP’s across the country are looking under beds for spare cash is a bit of a ‘eureka’ moment and quite rightly they want to know how to make this money appear.
So along with Maria Eagle MP, Luciana Berger MP, Louise Ellam MP, Steve Rotherham MP and Stephen Twigg MP; Care Industry News would like to know if the government will be sharing any private memorandum of understanding between Surrey Council and government be shared under ‘Freedom of Information’ so other councils are able to look after their elderly and vulnerable, just as providers will be doing in Surrey.