This week The Bucks Herald explored the issue of adult social care - and the problems faced by Bucks County Council to provide services for an increasing aging population. When I started on local newspapers a decade ago we would think nothing of challenging councils on seemingly needless or cruel cuts to services. We frequently highlighted where money was being wasted, and where not enough money was being spent - it was an important part of our job. That was no matter what the political persuasion of the council or councillor involved, and local newspapers pride themselves on their political neutrality. But times have changed for our councils - and after rounds and rounds of government imposed cuts, which last year resulted in a complete slash of the government grant for Bucks County Council - it is clear that all services are being stripped back to the bone. This is bad news for local people - especially our most vulnerable and it is the government’s fault.
We live in the seventh richest country on earth, yet our government has no clear plan on how to take care of our elderly and disabled people - just to throw the problem at the door of our beleaguered councils. They have the money to do it - but it seems to me like they would rather impose conditions like this on the poorest and most vulnerable in this country than treat everyone equally.
Wages in many sectors have not increased in line with inflation, and many people are struggling to make ends meet - so with less money around for even the better-off people to pay for things like private health care it’s more important than ever that our public services are serving their all important purpose.
So this week this newspaper is calling on the government to do its job and take its responsibilty to everyone seriously. Because the issue of adult social care will affect every one of us in our lifetime - and we all deserve respect no matter what our circumstances.
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