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Step 2

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Dear ………………………………………………  Councillor Candidate in the Local elections 

I am very concerned that Social Care is failing disabled and older people, unpaid carers and care workers.

  • Half of those seeking support get no help at all
  • Most care and support is institutionalised whether at home or in a residential establishment: it offers little choice, control, stimulation or dignity. As it is also mainly privatised it is often erratic or unstable.
  • Many can’t pay ever increasing charges for care. 60,000 disabled adults in England were chased by their councils for social care debts in 2021 to 2022.
  • An estimated 10 million unpaid carers receive little or no help, many are exhausted and stressed and feel their voices are unheard or dismissed.
  • Care workers with poor wages, conditions of service and few training or career opportunities are leaving in droves, with vacancies at 152,000 and turnover in the first year at 45%.
  • Many workers recruited from abroad are exploited in ways akin to modern slavery
  • Disabled people and their families account for half of the 14million people living in poverty in the UK.

I fully appreciate that Local Authorities are extremely cash strapped because of huge shortfalls in Government funding and impossibly short term funding settlements. However    

Councils have it in their power and responsibility to take steps towards ending this Social Care Disgrace.  I am asking that if / when you become a councillor will you: 

  1. Insist on assessing what support people really need rather than assessing what the LA can afford and passing that off as meeting need. Recognising unmet need is a small step towards being part of the solution not part of the problem
  2. Support raising the Minimum Income Guarantee at least in line with inflation to help stop escalating charges hoovering up people’s disability benefits and stop pursuing charging arrears that people are unable to pay
  3. Seek to democratise decision making processes and provide support to enable disabled people, carers, workers and local communities  to join in genuinely co-designing and producing services and involve them on Scrutiny Boards. This means going beyond focus groups, personal stories and consultation exercises to genuinely share power and responsibility
  4. Ensure that all directly employed staff are paid at least the living wage and make this a contractual requirement for all providers – and monitor compliance! (Salford Council  is ahead  of the field here)  Ensure that all staff are entitled to sick pay, payment for travel time and sleep overs, training and trade union representation. Call out the additional exploitation of workers from overseas.     
  5. Provide much needed practical and financial support to unpaid carers and value their expertise
  6. Look at non- profit options for taking over services as private companies surrender contractse. bring them in house or commission third sector providers (Islington ahead here)
  7. Develop plans for free home care. (Hammersmith and Fulham have been providing free home care since 2014 and Hackney is getting there)
  8. Insist our Council joins with others across the country to put huge pressure on government to fund Local Authorities to provide decent care and support and be transparent with local people – don’t spin cuts as cost efficiencies! An informed public is a potential partner in pressurising national government 

Please also support the non- party political, cross sector “End Social Care Disgrace Campaign” and help us press for the Government to set up a National Care, Support and Independent Living Service, which is:

  1. Funded through Government investment and progressive taxation
  2. Free at the point of use
  3. Publicly provided and accountable
  4. Nationally mandated but locally provided
  5. Radically re-imagined and co-produced with disabled people, carers, care workers, local communities
  6. Offers choice, control, dignity and independence
  7. Provides a range of practical and financial support to carers and values their expertise
  8. Ensures that staff pay and conditions reflect their high value and skills

 

You can see more on these demands here:  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  and more on funding radical change here:  https://endsocialcaredisgrace.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Adult-Social-Care-and-its-funding-ESCaD-draft-for-comment.pdf.

Please let me know if you are willing and able to pursue any of these demands.

Yours ………………………………..

Name

Address 

 

NB If you would like more information on the ‘End Social Care Disgrace Campaign’ see: www.endsocialcaredisgrace.org  or Email [email protected]   Tel.  07419295754