Friday 21 September 2012

The Graph of Doom

Fascinating insight into the consequences of spending cuts from Dr. Phil Norrey the CEO of Devon County Council. He and I were sharing the platform at the Devon consortium of vcs in Exeter yesterday.
He was commenting on the fact that the turnover of the vcs in Devon is about the same as that of the County Council so we are a big player in the future of services and voice in Devon. But he went on to explain the dire consequences of spending cuts for the Council.
On current plans they need to cut spending by 50% in real terms in the next 7 years.

Devon has the forth highest concentration of people over 65 in the UK. He explained that on projections done by the Council on current Government spending plans , by 2019 the Council could only afford to provide services for the elderly. And bury waste. The so called " Graph of Doom". Frightening indeed.
This is a snapshot of the challenge facing all councils. Its an indication of the need for a radical overhaul of how we deliver health and social care for older people. Only by transferring resources from hospital to community and to prevention can we hope to cope.
Fascinating to hear the former care Minister Paul Birstow MP on "Today" talking about Treasury obstinacy in reforming social care and implementing Dilnot. As often the case HMT are unable to look long term.
But it is not just in health and social care we need change. And if you look services for children and young people, crime, jobs and regeneration, arts and culture part of the answer to the problem lies with the third sector.
At a strategic level Acevo has identified influencing debate and decisions on the next spending review as a priority. Over the next 2 years the Parties will be debating their manifestos. The Treasury will be developing their plans; and let's remember that over half of public spending is on health and welfare.
I enjoyed listening to Dr.Norrey. Not because of his ugly graph, but because he does see the importance of a strategic relationship with our sector. I'm going to be returning to talk to him and hid director's team about how we can help each other. I'm looking forward to that.

Stephen Bubb

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