THE state of social care has been branded a “disaster” by a political chief in the wake of national survey findings.

Andover Liberal Democrats chair Luigi Gregori has said conclusions drawn from a survey by the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADASS) into the finances of adult social care show a worsening funding crisis.

ADASS found adult social care costs have risen to 38 per cent of council’s budgets though Hampshire County Council (HCC) budget set aside 25 per cent for this financial year.

Councillor Gregori, who sits on Andover Town Council, said: “Andover and the surrounding areas has an above average proportion of both young and mature citizens, and these are suffering by the underinvestment in social services here in Hampshire.

“Youth services have entirely disappeared and there have been significant cuts in services to the elderly. Hampshire County Council need to adjust the spending accordingly and they need to stop putting money away in reserves.”

Last year youth services in Andover faced a £56,000 cutback from HCC, slashing provisions significantly in the town.

For this financial year’s budget, HCC has allocated an increase in adult social care spending from £451.7million in 2017/18 to £497.5million.

ADASS also found 48 councils saw care homes close in the last six months as part of the crisis.

At the independent Arbory Residential Home in London Road, more than 50 per cent of its residents receive funding for care from HCC.

Manager Iain Slack said: “There is no way you could provide care for someone whose needs are quite complicated with the funding given.

“It is not enough, what we tend to find is for care homes run privately they have to continue to increase prices on a yearly basis onto private clients as they are the ones funding the care for other clients.

“There’s not one endless pot of money for anybody, I’m sure the local authority are trying to do their best and they have limits.”

Hampshire County Council was contacted for comment.