Local authorities need financial support in the Autumn Statement - The Yorkshire Post says
But what the country cannot afford is indecision when it comes to protecting vital services in the face of council budgets being decimated.
The share of council budgets being spent on protecting vulnerable children has ballooned, leaving question marks over the financial viability of many councils.
Research by the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (Sigoma), which represents 47 urban councils in the north, the Midlands and on the south coast, found that on average its members now spend 29 per cent of their core spending power on children’s services, up from 15 per cent in 2011/12.
The number of children looked after by councils is continuing to grow to record levels, with 83,840 in care in March - a 30 per cent rise since 2010.
Therefore calls for emergency funding in the Autumn Statement to protect services are justified.
As Sigoma chairman Sir Stephen Houghton, who is Labour leader of Barnsley Council, says the Autumn Statement is “one of the final opportunities” to give local authorities the support they need for the next year.
However, he is also right to say that the market for children’s social care is also broken and in need of reform. Showing how badly it is broken, Bradford Council is currently paying for 196 children to stay in privately-run homes, at an average cost of almost £312,000 per child per year.