Money is being diverted away from road repairs, leisure centres and local bus routes in order to maintain the struggling social care sector, council leaders have warned.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said councils are increasingly having to redirect cash from other local services to prop up the funding gaps in the sector.
The nation’s care and support system is “in crisis”, the LGA said as it called on the Government to invest in social care in the Chancellor’s forthcoming Autumn Statement.
It said that the current funding gap in the social care system is hampering councils’ ability to support the nation’s most vulnerable adults.
The LGA said that councils spend around 35 per cent of their budgets on adult social care and are increasingly having to divert money away from other services to plug gaps.
Adult social care services face a potential funding gap of at least £2.6bn, according to a new report from the LGA.
Meanwhile, disability charity Leonard Cheshire warned that as a result to cuts in care, many people are being left without the help they need or are in some cases are being left trapped in their homes for “days on end without vital support and human contact”.
A poll of 1,000 working-age disabled Britons conducted by the charity found that 48 per cent who say they need social care are not currently receiving any support.
In the foreword to the new LGA report, Councillor Izzi Seccombe, the chairwoman of the LGA’s community well-being board, said: “For too long the service has too often been seen by decision-makers as an adjunct to the NHS, rather than a service of equal importance.
“A lack of recognition in terms of profile has combined with a lack of recognition in terms of funding to place our care and support system under enormous pressure.
“The situation now is critical and it is no exaggeration to say that our care and support system
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