Stuart Gallimore, the president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services spoke at the annual ADCS conference in Manchester. He addressed the two ministers in attendance, education secretary Damian Hinds and children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi, “there is not enough money in the system, full stop”, and dismissed arguments that current funding is sufficient, but spent disproportionately on care placements.

“There is simply no fat left to trim, instead authorities up and down the country have found themselves having to cut back on early help services, which makes no financial sense,” Gallimore said.

“What we need is fair funding. The innovation fund has been helpful in doing what it said – providing some upfront money for people to innovate – but that’s not a sustainable way of running services,” Gallimore said.

He added: “Short-term, ring-fenced sums of money – while helpful – can never be the answer. What local authorities need to know is their revenue base has been increased by a sum of money they will get that and next year, so they can long-term invest in services that make a difference.”

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