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Carers UK Forum • Open Letter Equal Partners Bulletin, March 2007
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Open Letter Equal Partners Bulletin, March 2007

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:35 am
by normangardner
Claire Woodford, Editor, Carers UK, Equal Partners Bulletin, March 2007
Dear editor,
I have to say I disagree with Jill Pay, when she wrote in reply to the question .
'What do you think about the new Carers Strategy and what it will mean for carers?'

'I'm really pleased .... it shows the Government is serious about carers'.
Locally, carers still face cuts in services, and problems getting the support they need, and thats something that local authorities need to address. By backing carers so publicly the Government has put us high up the agenda - and this will also help people identify themselves as carers- ..
' .

It sounds as if Gordon Brown's legendary charm has worked, or Jill Pay is a Government supporter.
If the Government was serious about carers, the would have supported the Barbara Keeley
(MP Salford Lab) Bill which would have helped identify Carers. She also seemes to have swallowed the line that Local Authorities are to blame for the current cutbacks in services.
Numerous Local Authority spokesmen have stated publicly that this is the harshest Social Services financial settlement in living memory, and the problem is compounded by Primary Care Trusts cutting back on convalescent services and imposing a greater burden on Local Authorities.
best wishes Norman Gardner

I agree Norman. One of

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:04 pm
by charles47
I agree Norman. One of our councils got a £600,000 increase in funding for the entire budget. It's not enough even to pay the national pay award agreed by the GOVERNMENT. Which automatically means cuts.

The trouble is that successive governments have created a situation where responsibility is endless (but only for local authorities) and the money tree is limited.

Equal Partners

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:45 am
by Clare Carers UK
I'd just like to make a couple of comments in response to the issues Norman's raised publicly.

Firstly Jill was not making a political statement - and I would be disappointed if anyone suggested she was. She was merely responding to the announcement for additional national funding for carers' services. Of course this will not sort out all the problems which carers face in getting services but her comments about the wider effect which the New Deal for carers will have in raising awareness amongst politicians, the public and carers themselves about what support carers are entitled to, are very welcome.

Equal Partners is about encouraging carers to come forward and campaign. Whilst carers campaign in a number of different ways and may not always be successful what we're trying to do, and doing successfully in a number of cases, is to give carers the added weight of Carers UK's experience and the benefit of other carers' learning about ways to get services changed.

I hope other carers will be inspired by Jill and Norman to come forward and take part. It's not going to change overnight, but by speaking out and doing something positive at least carers stand a chance of getting their voice heard.

More information at www.carersuk.org/equalpartners

Clare Woodford
Project Manager - Carers UK Equal Partners


Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:22 am
by normangardner
Hi Clare, it seems from the tenor of your post, that Jill was duped by some of the smoothest operators in New Labour, into making a statement moving responsibility for the current underfunding of Social Services from the Government (where Gordon brown holds the purse strings) to Local Government who are obliged to supply services for which they have inadequate funding.
Local Government is then castigated by myself as an Independent, and others, for failing to give Caring services a higher priority in their stretched budgets.
This is a national policy issue, and it is time the Government stopped hiding behind the remains of Victorian social policy, and parish pump charity; and recognised their direct responsibility for the Social Welfare of all citizens in the UK.
best wishes normangardner