Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, responds to the National Deaf Children’s Society report on councils providing radio aids for children.
"The National Deaf Children’s Society is wrong to suggest that councils have a duty to supply radio aids. However, as many as possible do so because they know that deafness can make life incredibly difficult for some children who experience it.
“Despite immense pressures and strains on councils and schools, they are doing all they can to help deaf and partially deaf children get the best start in life.
“This is why there has been a 21% increase in the number of councils providing hearing aids over the last few years despite immense pressures and strains councils and schools.
“Councils are reaching the point where the money is simply not there to keep up with demand, pushing support for children with SEND to a tipping point.
“While it was good the Government announced money for SEND last year, it must use the forthcoming Spending Review to plug the estimated special needs funding gap facing councils of up to £1.6 billion by 2021."
Notes to editor
Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025. The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign aims to influence the forthcoming Spending Review and highlight the growing risk to vital local services if the Government does not take action to secure the financial sustainability of councils.
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.