Shropshire

Telford and Wrekin Council warns of budget shortfall

Funding front-line services in Telford is becoming increasingly difficult, according to the local authority.

Telford and Wrekin Council said it was expecting to take £2.6m from its reserves to meet budget shortfalls.

The Labour-led authority said the biggest issue was likely to be adult and children's care, with a £1.4m overspend expected in children's care.

Councillor Bill McClements said part of the problem was caused by an increasing number of children going into care.

He said it mirrored a national trend.

'More difficult'

The council added that, like other authorities across the country, it was also having to take on the cost of adults requiring continuing care, which until recently had been funded by the NHS.

A one-off grant government has been provided to help fund the cost.

Mr McClements said: "I believe we will have some [reserves] left this year but next year and the year after will be more difficult."

He added that cuts of £20m in the past year had left the council "vulnerable" to extra costs.

The opposition Conservative group said the administration had failed to meet its pledge to reduce the cost of care and added that a better long-term strategy was needed.

Mr McClements said: "This underlines just how difficult the decisions are that lie ahead of us as we strive to fund further savings but also how important we believe it is to protect as far as possible frontline services.

"We shall be consulting people about these in the autumn."

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