Blackpool Council to spend extra £14m on ‘weak’ children’s care

Blackpool Council plans to spend more than three-quarters of its annual budget on social care.

The local authority, criticised in December 2018 for the “inadequate” quality of children’s services, intends to invest an extra £14m from April.

Ofsted said some children lived in “chronic neglect”, while management was judged to be “weak” by inspectors.

Council leader Simon Blackburn said it was “absolutely right” to spend more money protecting vulnerable people.

A year after its initial critical report, Ofsted said recommended changes had not been made quickly enough by Blackpool Council.

The struggle to recruit experienced staff also represented a “significant challenge”, Ofsted said.

Mr Blackburn said: “Ten years ago adult and children’s social care equated to 48% of our budget; in the coming year it will be 76%.

“It is absolutely right that we spend the money that is needed to protect and care for our most vulnerable residents but that does come at a price.”

Elsewhere, the council is planning to make cuts of £5m as it seeks to make savings of £19.6m, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Up to 75 jobs will be lost, while council tax is expected to rise by nealy 4% – the maximum increase the government will allow without a referendum.

Blackpool Council has reduced spending by about £150m since 2011.

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