Paul Young: Wherever I Lay My HatiTunesAmazon

Paul Young: Wherever I Lay My HatiTunesAmazon

Spending Review sparks concerns

Spending Review sparks concerns

Published at 12:11pm 26th November 2015. (Updated at 1:50pm 26th November 2015)

North Yorkshire County Council has warned that difficult decisions will have to be made as a result of the Chancellor's Spending Review.

The authority says it undoubtedly squeezes the budget further and presents "considerable challenges", particularly in providing care and support for an increasingly older population.

George Osborne has announced that authorities can choose to levy a social care precept of 2% on council tax, but it's feared that will be "dwarfed" by the Government's introduction of the National Living Wage.

Funding has been increased for the Better Care Fund, which enables health and social care to work together more effectively, although council bosses say that has not fully materialised in finances the past.

County Councillor Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said: "While we are always reluctant to raise council tax, we will have to consider this step if we are to protect the most vulnerable in our society.

"However, even if we take this decision, the levy will not give us the stretch to provide the services we need for a growing population, including care for the county's increasing numbers of the elderly and frail."

Bosses say the Spending Review has delivered two further and unexpected financial challenges.

The apprenticeship levy on employers could cost up to £1 million and the Government's plan to withdraw the education services grant, which covers local authority support for schools, represents a further reduction of up to £7 million.

Councillor Les added: "It seems apparent from the Chancellor's statement yesterday that we face a tough settlement in the coming years.

"By the end of the decade, it looks like the council will no longer receive any funding direct from Government at all. But we will know more in coming months, as the detail of these announcements becomes clearer."