At City Hall on Tuesday (7 February) Cllr Mary Locke used her first formal speech as Labour councillor for Bournville to highlight the importance of social care to people’s lives and demand fair funding for Birmingham.
People rely on social care
Drawing on her experiences as a carer for a husband with Alzheimer’s disease and as a member of the non-clinical team at Moseley Hall NHS hospital, Mary described how much she and her husband and other rely on Adult Social Care services provided by Birmingham City Council. Without her husband’s carer, Mary noted, she would not be able to work at the moment.
Tory imposed cuts
Mary spoke passionately about the injustice of the cuts Birmingham City Council is having to make because of political choices made by the Tory government in Westminster. Mary highlighted how big corporations wealthy individuals are able to avoid paying their fair share of taxes whilst ordinary people like her have to find the money to pay for their own carers.
Fair funding for social care
In her speech Mary also criticised Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond for failing to provide extra money for social care in the autumn statement. Instead, the government is encouraging councils to raise Council Tax to pay for social care, a move which will hit ordinary working people harder than the well-off.
Mary ended her speech by urging the Tory government in Westminster to adopt a new approach to social care:
“It’s not good enough. It’s time for fair funding for social care now, not breadcrumbs!”