Tory and Lib Dem cuts hurt older people hard

I’m standing as the Labour Party candidate for Rothwell in the forthcoming local elections and there are some really big issues where there is a massive difference between the stand of the Lib Dems, who are the current ward councillors, and myself and the Labour Party. I hope that local people will decide who they want to vote for based on local issues and I can assure you that I am determined, if given the chance, to fight the corner for Rothwell, Woodlesford, Oulton and Carlton.

A very real issue for people in Rothwell and one which many people have contacted me about is the plan by the Lib Dem and Conservative run council in Leeds to privatise social services homecare. I’m supporting Leeds Labour in fighting these plans. Having seen the huge problems created when they privatised grass cutting, the local Labour party is worried that that the same risk will be taken with our elderly people. Leeds City Council has already forced the removal of vital home care services from older people currently being looked after by the Council. The latest proposals would bring the wholesale privatisation of many care services.

A typical example of those who have already been hit hard by cuts in local services is Thomas Place, the 93 year old war veteran who although suffering from arthritis and relying on a walking frame to get around his home, had all of his care taken away.  Many older people only need a little help to be able to carry on living with dignity and as independently as possible. The council should be supporting our local people so that they can live as independently as possible. It’s a disgrace that these vital home care services have already been cut and I’m deeply concerned at the further effects that the Lib Dem and Conservative plans for privatising social services homecare will have on our older folk who should be treated with dignity and respect.

The news of further privatisation plans comes in the wake of popular facilities like the Breece and many centres used by the most vulnerable people in our society falling victim to the axe of the controlling Tories and Lib Dems in Leeds.

Disaster struck last summer when one of the private companies brought in by the council failed to deliver the service they had contracted to provide which meant that over 60 older and disabled people were left without their vital homecare services. It was a real tragedy that some people were left in bed all day and others went without a meal. These are the real effects of the Lib Dem and Conservative policies on our most vulnerable local people.

Leeds Labour voted against the privatisation plans but they were forced through by the Conservatives and their Lib Dem colleagues (disappointingly) on Leeds City Council