By Debbie le Quesne

Council ranks break as care pressure forces hard decisions

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Part of my responsibility is to keep abreast with developments in the industry, something that is increasingly difficult to do.

Plotting trends and observing responses in a fast moving marketplace is hugely challenging.

It has not escaped my radar, however, that Wigan Council’s cabinet has forced through a care charges hike in the face of opposition from Labour colleagues.

In what has been reported in Wigan Today as “a rare show of disunity, the town hall’s top table overruled recommendations from the health scrutiny committee to think again.”

It appears bosses didn’t want to get into the same predicament as neighbouring Lancashire County Council – predicted to run out of money in three years’ time. Interesting! It appears more and more that local authorities across the West Midlands are calculating their care costs – essentially the rates they pay to members – in this way. It’s a crazy economic model.

The reforms bring the borough’s rates in line with other Greater Manchester authorities.

The reforms, bringing the borough’s rates in line with other Greater Manchester authorities, were approved by cabinet despite being rejected by the health scrutiny committee.

The council has said charges will increase only for those who can afford it.

No doubt the politicking will run and run, but I read the council has said charges will only increase for those able to afford it.

For me, the biggest issue here is that a Labour stronghold council is having to respond to the funding crisis in such a way and it is, indeed, a sign of the perilous times we’re in.



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