Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones: Government silence on funding is forcing Doncaster Council to make ‘guesstimates’ on financial planning
Doncaster mayor Ros Jones has said the council is ‘making guesstimates’ in financial planning because the Government still hasn’t told them what they can spend past 2021.
Mayor Jones told the Doncaster Free Press the council is facing a £13 million budget gap for 2020/2021 but isn’t sure how this will be addressed due to Government silence on local authority finances.
The Labour leader also urged Government to get on with draft legislation promised two years ago around social care funding and another planned review of how local authorities receive money.
She added that the council ‘only need some very difficult’ cases in adults and children’s social care to make a big impact on finances.
Doncaster Council’s top boss Jo Miller recently called the lack of Government indication on finances post 2021 as ‘absolutely terrifying’.
Councillors voted through a 4.99 per cent in council tax at a recent meeting with two per cent ring-fenced to fund adult social care which the mayor called a ‘regressive taxation’.
Mayor Jones said: “We’ve got a £13 million gap to close in for 2021 without the knowledge of what we’re going to get from Government – this is no way to run a country," she said.
“We want to get on with our financial planning to deliver what our residents require and desire but without any idea of what we can spend – we’re making guesstimates to the £13 million.
“We are looking at our projections and we only need to get some very difficult high cost cases in adults or children’s social care that can hit us financially.
“We’re trying to do what is right and children’s social care needs are growing and we’re like much of the rest of the country.
“The numbers are growing and this is a national issue. The way that Government has looked at funding it generally through the social care levy which is a regressive taxation.”