Reaction to the Autumn Statement

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was the external highlight of the week. Along with all other upper tier local authorities with adult social care responsibilities, we were hoping for some relief from the pressures of funding the increasing costs of our ageing population, perhaps in the shape of an advance in the improved Better Care Fund or a delay in the arrangements to retain business rates. Sadly, there was no mention, and we will have to wait for the detail in the coming weeks to see whether it was an intentional omission, or merely that the Chancellor wanted to concentrate on infrastructure and economic growth measures.  In the meantime, we will work on the basis that nothing changes, which means some hard choices before we settle our budget for the next financial year.

On a brighter note, we had the first of our candidate information evenings on Wednesday, an opportunity for those who are standing in next May’s election to find out a bit more about us. It was excellent to meet a good number of candidates and to answer their questions on what we do for the residents of Staffordshire. Along with Philip Atkins and Sue Woodward, Helen Riley, John Tradewell and I had a very enjoyable evening with the candidates, briefing them and answering their questions.

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