City social services set for spending boost

AN EXTRA £877,000 could be spent on social services in Newport this year to help the department as it comes under increasing pressure.

Newport council says growing numbers of adults and children need support from social services which faces “considerable financial challenges” this year.

A report to Newport council’s cabinet proposed to spend £877,000 from £1.177 million in unallocated funding on social services from the 2012/13 budget.

Of that, £70,000 will be spent on new social worker posts in children’s services, while the balance will be spent on adult community care.

The council had previously allocated £54.677 million for social services in the 2012/13 council budget.

Another £300,000 from the unallocated cash will be put into the new Labour administration’s “immediate priorities budget”.

The report says that the 2011/12 budget was under spent by more than £3.4 million.

This was mainly because a contingency sum of £2.93 million set aside for emergencies in 2011/12 was not needed.

Officers recommended that the money should be put in reserve to fund future potential equal pay costs.

The council also generated a surplus of £323,000 from the council tax collection fund.

According to the report by about the last quarter of 2011/12 forecasts showed the council was close to balancing its budget allowing the contingency sum to be used as a saving.

However the education department and social services both overspent by £892,000 and £1.817 million respectively.

Newport council’s cabinet will discuss the report and whether to approve the recommendations on June 11.