Who cares about child poverty?

Halifax Courier - - The Week In Court -

Not Labour, it would seem, un­less it suits them, de­spite their as­ser­tions that they’re the only ones who care.

As Lib­eral Democrats, we were pleased to see Calderdale Coun­cil de­vise a Child and Fam­ily Poverty Strat­egy last year be­cause it’s one way of help­ing to achieve a more equal so­ci­ety where peo­ple stand a bet­ter chance of get­ting on in life. But it’s only worth having a strat­egy if it’s put into ac­tion.

So I asked the Labour Cabi­net what they were go­ing to do about it. They said that they were go­ing to have a work­ing group but it took them a long time to set it up. Then they planned an “open space” event with an open in­vi­ta­tion to talk about dif­fer­ent as­pects of child poverty and get good ideas about what to do. This ap­proach works well.

Amongst some 70 peo­ple, nine Labour Coun­cil­lors signed up for it but only one at­tended for part of the morn­ing. Have they lost in­ter­est ? This seems to be an­other ex­am­ple of the dan­gers of set­ting out with good in­ten­tions but noth­ing hap­pen­ing un­less some ef­fort is put into it.

THE IM­POR­TANCE OF THE NHS

The future of lo­cal health ser­vices in Calderdale is a crit­i­cal is­sue for us at the mo­ment. I’m im­mersed in the Peo­ple’s Com­mis­sion on Health and So­cial Care (and es­pe­cially think­ing about Accident and Emer­gency ser­vices), and the Health and Well­be­ing Board “sign­ing off” the next round of our ap­pli­ca­tion for the Bet­ter Care Fund which will help us in­te­grate health and so­cial care ser­vices.

And then my fam­ily had di­rect ex­pe­ri­ence of lo­cal ser­vices over the week­end - I was only able to at­tend part of the Cabi­net meet­ing be­cause I had to go and visit my son in hos­pi­tal, having been ad­mit­ted there through A and E over the week­end.

I’m pleased to re­port that he’s re­cov­er­ing and the ser­vice was very good. This episode re­in­forces the value of the NHS and the im­por­tance of mak­ing cer­tain that we face up to the de­mo­graphic and fi­nan­cial chal­lenges to pro­vide the best fit-for-pur­pose health ser­vice for us all.

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