National bodies back Somerset’s Stand Up For Care petition

Three major local government bodies have given their backing to Somerset County Council’s Stand Up For Care petition.

Launched last week, the petition calls for cross-party discussions before Christmas on how to address the national social care funding shortfall. Leaders of all political groups at the County Council have given it their backing and they have been joined by the Local Government Association, County Council Network, and the Association for Directors of Adult Social Services.

Leader of Somerset County Council, Councillor David Fothergill, said: “The future of social care is such a big issue and it’s fantastic to have the backing of these important and influential bodies that represent councils and care up and down the country.

“I would urge everyone who cares about care to sign this petition and make their voices heard. It takes seconds but could make a big difference”.

The petition is hosted on the www.petition.parliament.uk website or can be found by following www.somerset.gov.uk/standupforcare

Simon Edwards, director of the County Councils Network said: “Our own Five-Point Plan for the new government calls for a national consensus on the future of social care, so we endorse Somerset County Council’s appeals for a cross-party approach.

“With demand only set to rise, the situation is fast becoming unsustainable for many authorities – CCN member authorities are clear that the government must publish the social care green paper as soon as possible.”

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “The LGA has invited national politicians to join us in cross-party roundtable talks, to help find solutions on how we continue to fund social care.

“Our own social care green paper led to some key recommendations on how best to urgently resolve this issue and are ready to be put into practice.

“We all need to work together to find a solution to the adult social care crisis, so that every person who needs care gets the support they deserve and can live their life to the fullest.”

Julie Ogley, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: “We are facing an unprecedented crisis in adult social care. As our budget survey showed, we are still lacking the sustainable long-term funding we need to allow people to live as healthily and independently as possible.

“The Panorama documentary, ‘Crisis in Care’, presented first-hand the impact this is having on older and disabled people, and their families and carers.

“We need the Government to seize the opportunity to make adult social care a priority and put it back on firm financial footing.”

The BBC Panorama documentaries broadcast earlier this year – filmed over ten months with Somerset County Council – dramatically raised the profile of care funding pressures. The petition is part of the Council’s continued commitment to keeping the need for reform of social care and secure its long-term funding on the political and public agenda.

Any British Citizens or UK residents can sign the petition and it’s hoped that people from across 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.