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Monday 26th August 2019

Elderly care funding could force libraries to close

27th April 2012

Council leaders across England and Wales have issued a warning that the crisis in funding elderly care could lead to the closure of libraries, parks and leisure centres.

Old Hands

Local government chiefs have issued a direct plea to David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, urging them to act immediately to avoid delays in agreeing reform to elderly services.

They say any delay in reaching agreement on how to pay for care for the ageing population could force councils to raid funding for parks and libraries.

The warning came from Local Government Association chairman Sir Merrick Cockell, who is the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea.

With the agreement of all the political groupings within the association, he wrote: “For too long we have toyed with adult social care reform and failure to act now may be the failure that tips the system over.

“We cannot afford any further delays. We are clear that any such loss of momentum on exactly how care is funded is dangerous.”

The Dilnot Commission last year recommended setting a cap of £35,000 on payments for care over a lifetime at a time that some 1.2 million frail or vulnerable people in England rely on care services provided by their local council.

A White Paper detailing reforms of the care system was due to be published last December but now there are fears it will not appear until May, or even later.

Care services minister Paul Burstow said the government was working to secure cross-party agreement “to find a sustainable long-term solution on social care funding.”


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