Adult social care and children’s services now account for 70% of non-schools council spending. It is the area subject to the most demographic pressures and volatility of demand.
These pressures and volatility led to these services overspending by £1bn in 2016/17 – an average of over £7m per council.
These workshops looked at how to set realistic budgets in this context, making use of annual zero-based budgeting which facilitates very detailed activity and price monitoring.
They also explored the use of benchmarking to set realistic performance targets while having adequate contingencies to cope with unexpected fluctuations in demand.