Councils Failing to Prepare for Ageing Population

By Phillips, Lucy | Public Finance, February 19, 2010 | Go to article overview

Councils Failing to Prepare for Ageing Population


Phillips, Lucy, Public Finance


Only one in ten councils is making preparations for the soaring costs of providing services for an ageing population, according to the Audit Commission.

A report from the local spending watchdog, published on February 18, warned that councils would struggle to cope with the change in demographics unless services were redesigned now.

In a parallel study into the strategic financial management of local authorities, the commission found only 11 out of 112 councils were planning for an ageing population in the medium term.

Commission chair Michael O'Higgins told Public Finance that there was a sense of 'organisational stasis', altiiough local authorities were aware of the issue. He called for a 'strategic rethink', saying councils risked missing out on 'opportunities to innovate and save', particularly through moving more care into people's own homes.

'The current situation makes it critical to be able to do this. There are ways of providing services for more people that cost less, but it requires advanced planning,' O'Higgins said. …

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