Gransnet forums

News & politics

Care Crisis

(51 Posts)
JessM Tue 31-Jan-17 18:34:17

Some of you may have noticed on the front page of today's Mail that a junior Tory health minister David Mowatt, has said families need to stop expecting the state to fund care and do more themselves. This is interesting given the massive cut to care funding that this government have implemented, just at a time when increasing numbers of vulnerable people need help.
And very many of them do not have relatives around the corner (relatives with no other responsibilities), or wealthy children who can pay for care.

M0nica Wed 01-Feb-17 21:09:21

Takingthemick, please could you post the website address to make accessing it easier. Thank you.

Eloethan Wed 01-Feb-17 23:28:32

I wondered how long it would be before the government tried to blame families for not caring for their elderly relatives.

Even in families with young children, mums and dads are now both expected to work, placing a great deal of physical and emotional pressure on them. Now, on top of this, there is also the suggestion that when their parents get older (and perhaps when they are dealing with the sometimes difficult teenage years, or are quite old themselves) they should take on this responsibility as well.

Most of the people I know who have elderly parents or relatives do their best to support them. In my case, I visit my Mum every week - door-to-door a 3 hour journey each way - and provide quite a lot of household and garden assistance. I - like annsixty - would be most reluctant for my Mum to be with me full-time as she can, in her own way, be quite demanding and possessive, and her fairly regular stays here leave my nerves in tatters. My husband will be 70 this year and I'm not far behind and we continue to provide after-school and holiday care for our grandchildren.

durhamjen Wed 01-Feb-17 23:56:57

Nothing to do with the opposition.
Jeremy Hunt's county, Surrey, is going to have a referendum to ask for a rise of 15% specifically for care. That's the right sort of opposition to this government's care policy.

durhamjen Thu 02-Feb-17 00:00:54

Takingthemick Thu 02-Feb-17 08:48:02

MOnica sorry for delay. I just put his name in Google and got his site then clicked on the contact button and left my message also read some messages from other people. Very interesting.

gillybob Thu 02-Feb-17 10:39:36

I don't want to pay another single penny in council tax. I can't afford to pay another single penny in council tax. We are already squeezed to the limit. I have a huge problem with mismanagement and fair distribution of the existing council taxes. Why should the leader and various others who share his trough of such a poor borough with debts of over £500m command such astronomical salaries? How dare they vote themselves rises (53 of our 54 councillors are labour). Talk about hypocrisy. Talk about greed? Talk about I'm alright Jack.
They make me sick.

Joelsnan Thu 02-Feb-17 11:59:37

I think all should rally against any increase in council tax to fund social care. The government gave stopped their funding to the councils but have not reduced the taxation that we pay and which previously funded these services so effectively we would be paying twice.
Indeed now most care homes are privately run now so councils are paying 'for profit' organisations to care for those in need. These often start as cheap options to get contracts but quickly become very expensive sources if poorer services.
I like many was in the heartbreaking situation of having to work full time whilst my elderly mother was dying and had to go into a care home which she hated. She used to beg to stay with me but I needed to work...The government can't have it both ways...women in full time employment plus child/grandchild and elders careers.

gillybob Thu 02-Feb-17 12:05:42

I have never actively protested against anything in my life and have always been a "shoulder shrugger" type who does plenty of moaning but nothing constructive. But IF THEY BLOODY DARE to raise our council tax by more than 1% I will be in the front line with my banner. Greedy (labour) pigs that they are ! Our council should be ashamed of themselves. call themselves Labour, looking after ordinary working class people. My big fat (well not so fat) ar*e !

ANGRY angrydoesn't begin to cover it.

daphnedill Thu 02-Feb-17 12:14:01

gillybob Do you mean the councillors or the council officials? They're not the same. Councillors don't usually get paid a salary, although they can claim allowances and expenses. It really isn't only Labour councillors who scratch each others' backs.

daphnedill Thu 02-Feb-17 12:19:03

How do you expect councils to fund social care? They've been put in an impossible situation by central government - quite deliberately.

The choice they have is to have inadequate social care or fund it themselves by increasing council tax and/or making cuts elsewhere. Councils have already cut other services to the bone, so there isn't much else left. Whatever they do, councils will be blamed for central government's austerity programme.

gillybob Thu 02-Feb-17 13:08:51

Both daphnedill Our town councillors (53 out of 54 are labour) voted themselves huge rises in their allowances. Only one voted against (yes you guessed it, the one who is not labour). How can they justify this?

Our council officials take some of the highest salaries in UK councils and yet our council is in debt to the tune of £540m or more.

The councils should look at themselves first. The inflated salaries of their officials would be a good place to start. Followed by the multi million pound refurbishment of our town hall and massive amounts paid out to consultancy firms.

Of course they won't do this they would rather close a community centre or an old peoples home.

daphnedill Thu 02-Feb-17 13:27:31

I believe you, but what I'm saying is that it isn't just Labour councils which do that. I live in an area which is almost 100% Conservative. There are a few LibDems and the Town Council is Independent at the moment. My County Councillor is an Independent, but more like a NIMBY Conservative to be honest.

Lord Hanningfield (Conservative), the former leader of Essex County Council, was jailed for House of Lords fraud. He was let off fraud against the County Council (ahem!).

The scandal with areas like yours is that it's obviously quite poor. This is a much wealthier area on average, so most people can afford to make up shortfalls. We hardly have any buses, we have no police station nor hospital, the County Council has just slashed school transport funding by a £1 million. Schools are bursting at the seams. There are no council funded nurseries or day care centres for the elderly. The meals on wheels service has been scrapped. Home care funding has been reduced by 25%. There is no available council housing. The list goes on.

And, yes, the councillors voted themselves big increases and established a cabinet system, so the the leading councillors are paid even more. And they're Conservative!

gillybob Thu 02-Feb-17 13:39:38

A clear indication that large majorities (in any camp) don't work do they daphnedill? They councillors and council officials become complacent and think they can do whatever they like. In fact they don't even think they can, they just go ahead and do whatever they like.

Our town is a poor town. Way below average wages, hugely above average elderly population living in local authority homes and needing social care. The town was dominated by manufacturing. Coal mining, ship building and other heavy industry all long gone but the elderly still live in this world. I know this sound patronising, nasty even but until the generation of ex miners, ship builders have gone (there is no nicer way of explaining this) the town will never move on.

daphnedill Thu 02-Feb-17 13:46:34

Central government (Conservative) has put them in that situation. They knew damned well that councils would be blamed for cuts which have been forced on them.

Recent changes to central government formula funding have meant that areas such as yours have lost funding, leaving local government to shoulder the blame.

gillybob Thu 02-Feb-17 13:53:10

So why don't they look at themselves first then daphnedill and stop voting themselves and their councillors rises? Stop paying massive amounts of money to consultants etc.? Then I might have some respect for them.

daphnedill Thu 02-Feb-17 14:42:17

I once asked a particularly obnoxious and disruptive pupil why she behaved the way she did. The answer was 'Because I can!'

I suspect councillors have the same attitude. They need to be challenged and held to account. There also need to be positive alternatives. Central government has landed them in the sh*t and there's nothing you can do about that.

It's boring, but you need somebody with a knowledge of accounts (an elitist lol) to go through the books, which should be online, and ask serious questions. That's what our Independents did with our town council. Our town hall was actually dangerous with lumps falling off and loose/missing roof tiles. It was riddled with damp. They came up with a plan for restoration, which is actually costing us a few millions, but they did a mini-referendum and had plans and alternatives on display every Saturday in the market place. The residents were overwhelmingly in favour of spending the money.

daphnedill Thu 02-Feb-17 14:42:59

You could always stand as a councillor, gillybob.

gillybob Thu 02-Feb-17 14:47:44

I almost spat my tea across my not very productive today desk daphnedill grin

gillybob Thu 02-Feb-17 14:51:18

You have raised a good point though daphnedill. I believe (happy to be corrected though) that there is a law? or regulation? that requires all councils to make salaries of their top executives public? Is that true or did I dream it?

I have searched and searched and have found lots of other councils' figures but not my own. (old ones yes, but nothing up to date). It is probably much worse than I assumed.

daphnedill Thu 02-Feb-17 14:59:44

Why not stand as a councillor? I've never done it myself (too lazy), but I think all you need is two people to sponsor you. You might need to register with somebody or other. Most people seem to start off at very local level.

Yes, I think there is a law to declare the salaries of top paid officials. The salaries of council officials and allowances/expenses of councillors should be on your council's website, along with all contracts over a certain amount.

PS. Don't let anniebach know I'm recommending Google.

gillybob Thu 02-Feb-17 15:10:49

I have found the (eye watering) expenses and allowances for councillors daphnedill (thank you Mr google) but cannot find any of the councils top executive salaries. Just old references and general headlines.

Sadly I do not have enough political knowledge to become a councillor. in fact I don't have enough knowledge full stop

A guy across the road from me did give it a go and tried to stand as an independent. He put up a good fight. But seriously he had no chance.

I really probably shouldn't say this but this is what I really think so here goes..... He would have done better but he is openly gay and I think a lot of the very old people around here are still very homophobic .

gillybob Thu 02-Feb-17 15:11:55

Should have said... "he might have done better....."

Ana Thu 02-Feb-17 16:21:43

A comprehensive list of all payments made to and expenses claimed by individual Councillors is published yearly in our local press, and can also be accessed via the County Council website.

TriciaF Thu 02-Feb-17 16:34:35

daphnedill wrote:
'You could always stand as a councillor, gillybob.'
You should try - they need people like you!
I once tried, but didn't have a chance, as the council was in a strong conservative area.

gillybob Thu 02-Feb-17 16:44:53

One of my problems TriciaF is that I don't know what I am anymore!

I was an active(ish) member of the LP for years. That is until I got my eyes open to their corruption, back scratching and unwillingness to see any other point of view. You simply HAD to agree with the old timers (almost all of them) or you would be forced out. More recently I think today's LP only looks after trade unions and the public sector. They don't give a stuff about small businesses (who are apparently the back bone of the UK... empty words).

What am I then? I still have working class Labour values but.... I run a small Engineering business with DH. We struggle. We get no help. Our employees are all (with the exception of our apprentice.. but don't get me started on apprenticeships) better off than us. Financially and quality of life.The LP don't care about me or mine.