Barbara has called on the Government to confirm whether or not a special deal was done for Surrey County Council, which may have led to the local authority calling off a Referendum for a 15 per cent increase in council tax to pay for social care at the last minute.
During Prime Minister’s Questions it was suggested that the Leader of Surrey County Council may have been communicating with officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government who had been working on a solution that would avoid the need for the referendum.
Barbara has called on Government Ministers to say whether or not a deal had been offered to Surrey which resulted in the authority calling off the referendum and she asked whether the same deal would be offered to all local authorities, not just the Tory-run authorities, to help solve the social care funding crisis.
Commenting on the revelations at Prime Minister’s Questions on social care funding and Surrey Council’s plans for a Referendum, Barbara said:
“Salford City Council has seen brutal cuts of over 40% to our budgets since 2010. The Tory Government has forced the council into both a squeeze on adult social care budgets and increases in council tax to pay for social care. Salford is set to lose a further £2.3million from social care in the next year, due to the way that the Government is clawing back money for social care from the new homes bonus.
“Surrey County Council is one of only a few authorities in the country to have been able to increase its social care spending, as cuts there have been 28% rather than over 40% for Salford. Last year the Government made an extra funding settlement of £300 million, of which 83% went to Tory authorities. Doing any sort of deal which just favours Tory authorities is clearly not acceptable.
“Tory Ministers must come clean now and answer questions as to just what they said or promised to Surrey County Council to get them to call off the Referendum on raising council tax by 15% to pay for adult social care. Any deals to help social care funding have to be offered to all councils.”