Underspend forecast for local authority social work services budget

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Social Work Services is forecasting an underspend of £4,000 against its agreed budget for 2015/16.

A council spokesperson said: “Social Work Services delivers lifeline services that address the key priorities or the Council and the needs-led nature of the services it delivers can lead to significant shifts in spending. As a result, budgets must be constantly reviewed to enable the service to accurately project expenditure , enabling the service to manage budget pressures within its existing resources.

“The 2015/16 Social Work Services budget explicitly allows for projected demand and demographic cost increases. It also requires that a number of savings measures are delivered in order to meet the increased needs of the service and respond to a number of key policy developments.

“The health and social care integration shadow year started on 1 April 2015. It is expected that the Integrated Joint Board will be formally constituted from October 2015. So, budget monitoring reports to Social Work Services committee now detail the Social Work Services position and that in relation to delegated and non-delegated budgets. The Social Work Services management team will continue to manage the overall combined social work budget, maximising efficiency and ensuring value for money, while the Social Work Services committee is responsible for ensuring that a balanced budget is delivered.”

Councillor Jim Dempster, chairman of the Social Work Services committee, said, “Protecting our most vulnerable people and providing the best start in life for all our children are priorities for our Council. To be able to deliver on our priorities, it’s absolutely vital that we can control and balance our Social Work Services budget. A lot of very hard work has gone into the constant review of budgets, enabling us to accurately project expenditure and manage budget pressures within our existing resources. I would like to thank everyone who is working so hard to achieve this.”

See the full report at: http://egenda.dumgal.gov.uk/aksdumgal/users/public/admin/kab14.pl?operation=SUBMIT&meet=69&cmte=SWS&grpid=public&arc=71

The Social Work Services committee (25 August 2015) agreed the recommendations in the report.