MOST of the council tax that people in Tenbury pay will be spent on social care and children’s services.

Seven pounds in every £10 that Worcestershire County Council receives will go on these two statutory services.

That is an increase from £6 in every £10 a few years ago, as the county faces up to an ageing population and the need to improve its children’s services.

The county council will increase its overall spending in 2019/20 but other services like libraries and highways will have to take the crumbs that are left over.

This was the stark message from Ken Pollock, who represents Tenbury on Worcestershire County Council.

He told Tenbury Town Council that the pressure is on to keep costs down.

“After long months of meetings and planning, the Cabinet has presented its proposals for the budget for next financial year to the public,” said Mr Pollock in a report to the county council.

“One or two points are worth making for all to remember.

“Our total expenditure is going up, but we are re-allocating money away from some services to meet the statutory obligations in other areas.

“These are principally adult social care and children’s services.

“Together these two account for 70 per cent of the total budget, an increase from around 60 per cent in recent years.

“It is important to understand what this money is spent on.

“As an ageing society, we find some people are living longer and run out of their own resources.

“At that point, the council has to step in and make sure such people are adequately looked after. In addition, there are adults with learning difficulties who need to be cared for all their adult lives.”

Mr Pollock said that there are approaching 1,000 young people in Worcestershire in the care of the county council.

“With regard to children’s services, the principal costs are looking after children in care," he said.

“We have around 800 of these in this county, and the number has been rising. You will all know that our services in this area have been found inadequate, and we are putting them all into a wholly owned company, called Worcestershire Children First. We hope this new organisation will help to reduce the numbers of looked-after children, but ensure they are all properly cared for.

“Although Worcestershire has a growing population of older people the number receiving social care remains relatively small.

“As I have observed before, it is important to note that the total numbers receiving this care, both children and adults, amounts to some 12,000 people, a very small proportion of the 580,000 living in the county,” added Mr Pollock.

“From the remaining 30 per cent we need to fund all other activities, most prominently caring for our roads and pavements, providing library services, and all environmental and countryside schemes, including handling the domestic waste collected by the district councils.”