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Mayor brands Government’s failure to address social care crisis “an insult to those struggling to keep system afloat”

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has hit out at the Government’s refusal to fund the social care system after ministers announced that instead of providing additional money to fund social care, they would urge councils to raise local taxes to fund the growing demand.

Tower Hamlets also looks likely to lose out as a result of a new one-off £240m social care grant which means Government will top slice £4.8m from the Borough’s New Home Bonus grant in 2017/18 to fund a new Adult Social Care grant of which Tower Hamlets will only get £1.5m. This means Tower Hamlets will actually be £3.3m worse off in 2017/18.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) estimates that nationally, between 2010 and 2015, £4.6bn has been cut from the adult social care budget.

Commenting on the Government’s proposal to allow councils to bring forward in 2017/18 up to 1% of the previously announced rise in council tax to fund Adults Social Care (the Adult Social Care precept), Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:

“This is a totally empty announcement from the Government and an insult to those struggling to keep the care system afloat. Not only are government failing to deal with the severity of the social care crisis, they are actually leaving boroughs such as Tower Hamlets millions of pounds worse off.

“What we wanted to see was the Government recognising the challenge and stepping up to the plate to fund social care properly. Instead, this announcement is nothing more than moving money around and trying to force councils to raise taxes. 

“Social care is truly in crisis, we’ve got an ageing population, people living longer with more complex needs and councils facing millions of pounds in cuts.

“Caring for our vulnerable and older citizens shouldn’t be a political football. The Government should work with all political parties to find a long-term solution to this crisis, not chase headlines with empty plans which do nothing to solve the problem.”

Government’s social care announcement will leave Tower Hamlets £3.3m worse off

Mayor brands Government’s failure to address social care crisis “an insult to those struggling to keep system afloat”

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has called on Theresa May to scrap changes to the schools funding formula which would see budget cuts for schools in deprived areas like Tower Hamlets.

The Mayor made the call alongside 23 other local government leaders in a recent letter to the Guardian newspaper.

Writing in the letter, the 24 politicians highlighted the unfairness that if the new funding formula was adopted “children in England’s 30 most deprived local authority areas face a net loss of £245m a year, while the 30 least deprived areas gain £218m.”

The local government leaders called for the Prime Minister to “adopt the firm principle that no school in a deprived area should be worse off as a result of the formula. This principle is fundamental to making the formula fair, and is vital if we are to tackle injustice in modern Britain.”

Commenting on the letter Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:

“Tower Hamlets is one of the most deprived places in the country, yet our schools produce some truly amazing results. There is absolutely no doubt that social mobility and the life chances of young people in our borough would be harmed if Government goes ahead with these plans which do nothing but punish pupils from the poorest communities.”

The full text of the letter, published in the Guardian, can be found here.

Prime Minister urged not to punish schools in deprived areas with cuts

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has called on Theresa May to scrap changes to the schools funding formula which would see budget cuts for schools in deprived areas...

Mayor John Biggs has rejected the Conservative Government’s Pay to Stay and pledged it won’t be adopted in Tower Hamlets.

The announcement was made at last night’s council meeting after widespread opposition meant the government were forced to water down the plans to charge council tenants 15p for every additional pound their household earns over £40,000. Instead of making the policy mandatory for all local authorities the Government confirmed recently that it would make the change voluntary.

The Pay to Stay tax would mean a nurse and a paramedic living in Tower Hamlets would face additional rent payments if it was introduced, potentially pushing families into poverty.

The Mayor said he had ruled out the policy because it was a tax on aspiration and risked pushing families already struggling to make ends meet into poverty.

Speaking at last night’s council meeting, Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:

“The Pay to Stay proposals are little more than a Tory tax on tenants. Instead of punishing those in council homes the Government should be focused on bringing private sector rents down to sensible levels.

“I do not believe it is fair to punish families who live in council homes for seeking to improve their circumstances, it is a tax on aspiration and risks pushing families already struggling to make ends meet into poverty.

“Pay to Stay has no place in the East End and Tower Hamlets will not be introducing it as long as I am Mayor.”

 

Mayor John Biggs rejects Government’s Pay to Stay Tenant Tax

Mayor John Biggs has rejected the Conservative Government’s Pay to Stay and pledged it won’t be adopted in Tower Hamlets. The announcement was made at last night’s council meeting after...

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