All parties Stand Up For Care

Leaders of all the political groups at Somerset County Council have given their backing to the authority’s online social care petition.

The Stand Up For Care petition launched this week is calling for cross-party discussions before Christmas to end the national social care funding shortfall.

Leaders of all the Political Groups have endorsed the petition and are encouraging everyone who has an interest in care to use it to make their voices heard. The petition is hosted on the www.petition.parliament.uk website or can be found by following www.somerset.gov.uk/standupforcare

Cllr Jane Lock, Leader of the County Council Liberal Democrat Group said: “This is a key issue that all parties need to have at the top of their agenda and I hope everyone will sign the petition to make sure out national politicians understand just how important this is.”

John Hunt, Leader of the County Council Independent Group, said: “Social care affects every community in this county and throughout country.

“I find it hard to believe that we as a council, find ourselves fighting for funding, that should surely be automatically forthcoming from the government.

“Social care needs long-term security of funding and I would strongly encourage people to use this petition to make it clear how important we all feel this subject is.”

Leigh Redman, Leader of County Council Labour Group, said: “The pressures on social care are well-documented across the sector and across the country. We have to make sure its future funding is an issue that politicians of all parties take seriously and work to try and resolve.”

Martin Dimery, Leader of the County Council Green Group, said: “Social care is something that we are all likely to come into contact with at some stage in our lives. It’s secure, long-term funding is something that will benefit everyone and I urge people to sign this petition to show how important we think this issue is.”

“This is a good example of all parties coming together in the best interests of the people of Somerset”.

The petition is part of the Council’s continued commitment to keeping the issue of future funding for social care on the political and public agenda.

The BBC Panorama documentaries broadcast earlier this year, filmed over ten months with Somerset County Council, dramatically raised the profile of care funding pressures. Leader of Somerset County Council, Cllr David Fothergill said he is determined that momentum is not lost.

He said: “The documentaries were hugely powerful and brought the need for long-term social care funding to the front of people’s minds. We must everything we can to keep it there”.

Any British Citizens or UK residents can sign it and it’s hoped that people from across the county, but also the country, will use it to make their voices heard.  10,000 signatures triggers a formal response from the Government while 100,000 would mean it is formally considered for a debate.

  • 38% of Somerset’s net budget is spent on adult social, care, that’s £126m, £30m of which comes from ‘non-recurrent’ grants.
  • The Local Government Association estimates that by 2025 the national adult social care funding gap will be around £3.5billion.
  • Somerset Adult Social Care services support around 6,500 people with home, residential or nursing care.
  • 92.5 per cent of care the 280+ care providers in Somerset are rated Good or Outstanding by the CQC. Nationally it’s 83.5 per cent.
  • Number of people aged 65+ by 2039: Somerset = 32 per cent, England = 24 per cent.
  • Somerset now has more than 400 micro-providers in the county.