Sadly, the Independent Care Group has been warning for more than a decade that we are facing a crisis in social care provision, not just in local authority services but in the independent sector too – where the majority of such care is provided.
Social care has been starved of funding now for a generation and the upshot of that is starting to be felt.
Care homes – independently-owned and state – are closing and homecare providers are handing back contracts because they cannot be viably delivered. More than a million people are living with an unmet care need.
In 10 years’ time, 7.5 million people will be aged 75 and over, and a million people will be living with dementia by 2021.
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So the need for creating a sustainable future for care has never been greater.
The Kings’ Fund says that, over the past 15 years, there have been two independent commissions, three consultations, five White and Green Papers and innumerable reports from think tanks, charities and other organisations, all into the future of social care.
As Sarah Wollaston MP, chairman of the Health Select Committee, said, we have had enough reports to know what needs to be done, what is needed now is action.
If the Government was subject to the same evaluation by the Care Quality Commission as providers are, it would have been rated “inadequate”.
The Government needs to provide a proper, sustainable plan for the funding and delivery of social care services for the future and it needs to do so now before more of our oldest and most vulnerable people – who deserve better – have to go without the care they need.
‘We will not remember them’
“We Will Not Remember Them”.
This is the verdict of Ribble Borough Council’s Planning Committee members as they voted to allow building on the First World War Memorial Field in Longridge.
The field was bought by the people of Longridge for the people of Longridge for recreational use only, hence it is known locally as ‘The Rec’.
It was bought in 1926 as a lasting tribute to the 100 or so boys and men from the town who fought and died in the Great War of 1914-1918.
When other councils throughout the country, during these centenary years, are choosing to honour their war dead, Ribble Valley Borough Council in Clitheroe appears to consider it appropriate to ‘desecrate’ the Memorial Field in Longridge and reduce the town’s recreational space in the process.
Dismissing objections from Longridge Town Council and the Lancashire County Council surveyor in making its decision, this would be the first building on the Memorial Field that Ribble Valley Borough Council has passed, although many in Longridge will remember Ribble Valley Borough Council’s backing of a Booths supermarket on the field back in the 1990s, until halted by massive local public objection.
Where will this all end?
It is only a small part of the Memorial Field they say.
But soon there will be another planning application for more car parking spaces, and, if a developer approaches Ribble Valley Borough Council to build, say, bungalows for the old folk, what possible objection could the council then put up in defence?
After all ‘The Rec’ occupies a prime location at the very heart of Longridge, with a huge and lucrative building potential.
This decision must be reversed because it sets a very dangerous precedent.
Respect the will of the people
Last June, the UK voted to leave the EU and end the supremacy of EU law, take back control of our borders and leave the single market so we can negotiate new free trade deals around the world.
It’s really disappointing that Cat Smith, the Labour MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, voted to block Brexit in Parliament.
This goes against the fundamental principles of our democracy. A democracy which makes this country the envy of the world.
I am bitterly disappointed she has decided that the EU referendum should be ignored.
It is dismissive of the millions of our fellow countrymen who voted for Brexit, not to mention the majority of voters in this constituency.
The Labour Party needs to start respecting the will of the people, otherwise they are not fit for purpose.
Lancaster and Fleetwood Conservatives
More homes but no extra GPs
I notice yet another large development by Miller Homes at Catterall, in addition to the ‘retirement village’ proposed nearby and, on top of those, is the Kepple Lane development in Garstang. What I haven’t noticed is any mention of additional GP services for all these extra local inhabitants.
It is difficult enough at present to get a GP appointment within a reasonable timescale, so how will all this extra demand for services be met? Do planners not have to take this into consideration when agreeing to more and more applications? Surely there must be a limit the current resources can support?
Croston Road resident
We still have potholes
How nice a job Lancashire Highways Department made of King Street and Market Street, Longridge. Now they have nearly completed the pavements on Chaigley Road.
This means residents now have a nice new level surface on which to park their cars, better than their driveways!
Shame the rest of us have to live with and drive over potholes, like Forty Acre Lane.
Dave Simpson via email