Flintshire social services ‘will suffer’ in wake of council budget cuts

SOCIAL services will suffer in the wake of budget cuts, according to the council’s executive member for the department.

Speaking at a meeting of Flintshire County Council’s executive committee, Buckley councillor Carol Ellis said performance indicators were bound to be affected by a reduced budget and increased pressures.

“The performance will go down. We’ve got to be aware of it,” she said.

“The amount of people who contact social services is immense, the need is greater than ever.”

But council chief executive Colin Everett insisted the service would not have to suffer.

He said: “There may be a struggle with the volume of people using the service, but the quality should not drop.”

Cllr Ellis said that from July to September there were 1,500 referrals to social services for adult assessment in Flintshire.

She also raised fears about Government proposals for welfare reform, which include a cap on the level of benefits for non-working families.

“I can’t help but be fairly concerned about what effect this would have on the people of Flintshire,” said Cllr Ellis.

“Will this increase the level of homelessness? I think we need to keep a very close eye on this.”

Cllr Helen Brown, executive member for housing, added: “There will probably be an increase in homelessness.

“I have already had one family come to my house worried about how they will pay their rent when the cap comes in.

“This is going to have a huge impact.”

The council’s Flintshire Futures plan recommends cutting free transport for pensioners and people with learning difficulties who attend a day centre.

The move would save the authority about £2.6m over three years.