Redbridge Council cannot yet confirm new funding for adult social care despite money promised from the government.

Families have asked what the authority plans to do with money promised by the government to fund care for vulnerable and disabled adults.

Over the summer, families were furious after Redbridge Council started charging families for respite care for their disabled relatives.

At the time, the council failed to communicate charging changes effectively with those impacted and handed families retrospective bills for services.

By way of an apology, the authority agreed to pay the families’ bills until the October this year, in a move families said did not go far enough.

Now, with new funding announced last month by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, those affected wanted to know if any of that money would go towards reducing bills for respite care.

Chris Roper, 71, of Chadwell Heath, cares for his 41-year-old son Paul, who has Sturge Weber Syndrome, which causes epilepsy and severe learning disability.

Mr Roper said: “At the moment Redbridge Council, and the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, express the way they value carers within their local community as partners in care by charging the cared for person for the respite their carers need in order to continue in their caring roll.

“There is significant evidence that investment in carers’ services to support them in their caring role is financially beneficial.

“Local authorities need to give careful consideration to the balance of investment and the potential impact of charging carers for these services.”

But Cllr Mark Santos, cabinet member for health, explained he cannot commit any funding until the council has discussed its budget in more detail in the new year.

He has also criticised the government, saying the new funding granted by Philip Hammond is nowhere near enough.

Cllr Santos said: “The council will consider the application of the newly announced funding for social care as a part of its budget setting process, no commitments can be made at this stage.

“Whilst the funding is welcome it is recognised nationally that it does not anywhere near address the funding pressures being faced by social care and means we are facing a challenge locally to sustain services. For this reason, there are no current plans to use the funding to offset the charges that the council, like almost all local authorities, levies for adult social care.

“The council is looking to see how it can best provide support and through this reduce future costs. This includes the support that it currently provides to carers.”