Planned cuts to adult community service and children and young person services have sparked a clash between a Conservative and Green councillor at Suffolk County Council.

The authority's budget plans actually propose an additional £29.9 million for adult care and an additional £42.7 million for children’s services but there are reductions in specific areas.

More than £28.3m is being cut from areas of adult community services (ACS) and more than £5.5m from parts of children and young person (CYP) services.

The cuts mean the Housing Support Service in the ACS budget will lose £1m.

Suffolk county councillor Simon Harley, Green, has said this is the service that helps the vulnerable with independent living.  

East Anglian Daily Times: Suffolk County Councillor Simon Harley Suffolk County Councillor Simon Harley (Image: Suffolk County Council)

He has also argued the ‘Skills Team Redesign” in the CYP budget which will cut out £450,000 could lead to increased numbers of young people not in education.

Criticism of the propose budget comes after £150,000 in funding to tackle serious violence in Suffolk was announced by the county’s Safer Stronger Communities Board. 

The funding from the Home Office will support Suffolk’s Serious Violence Strategy. 

But Cllr Harley argued that while the funding was welcome “we must recognise reducing money available, as proposed in the forthcoming budget, to children and young people’s services may have an adverse effect in precisely these areas.”

However, Bobby Bennett, Conservative cabinet member for equality and communities, said: “The council is facing its most challenging budget-setting process in many years.

East Anglian Daily Times: Cabinet Member for Equality and Communities Bobby Bennett Cabinet Member for Equality and Communities Bobby Bennett (Image: Suffolk County Council)

“Like many councils, we are seeing an unprecedented increase in need for services that safeguard and care for Suffolk’s most vulnerable residents. That is why we are prioritising those in greatest need, by proposing an additional £42.7 million for children’s services and £29.9 million for adult care in our budget proposals for 2024/25.  

“The Home Office funding will bolster the existing work of Suffolk’s Serious Violence strategy to tackle serious violence and its root causes, supporting Voluntary Organisations to explore new and innovative approaches through specific projects aimed at tackling serious violence.”