Ceredigion cuts 'draining the life-blood from care'

Social care Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Social services take up a large portion of local authority budgets

A £2m cuts target is "draining the life-blood" from adult social care, county councillors have claimed.

The savings amount to 8.3% of the £24m budget for the service in Ceredigion, with a quarter of them found so far.

Liberal Democrat member Paul Hinge said the target was a "big ask", while council chairman Hag Harris claimed the budget was not "credible".

Plaid Cymru leaders of the authority are aiming to set a council tax increase of between 5 and 7%.

Councillor Hinge cast doubt on the savings target outlined in a report to a scrutiny committee on Wednesday, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"You cannot keep draining the life-blood out of what's going in there," he said.

"You can cut and cut, and at the end of the day there's nothing left.

"It'll only take one major thing to go wrong and our heads are on the chopping block."

Council chairman Hag Harris, from the Independent Voice group, added his concerns, saying: "I don't want to vote against the budget but this is not a credible budget in terms of adult services."

Head of finance Stephen Johnson said the report was "open and honest" and he accepted there were risks, but added: "If you don't start a plan you won't achieve any savings."

The report outlines savings on homelessness leased accommodation, increased charges for community-based services and other proposed fees and charges.

But it adds that £1.57m has still to be found "from service reviews either underway or planned".

Cuts of £138,000 to the £6.7m children's services budget were agreed by the committee, who were told they would not be "detrimental".

Alun Lloyd Jones, from the ruling Plaid Cymru group, said the budget was "difficult, if not impossible".

Final decisions on the budget and council tax increase will be taken by the full council in February.

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