Getting the little things right to make big changes to people’s lives

Cabinet today approved extra funding towards the ‘Disabled Facilities Grant scheme’. I know what you’re thinking – it doesn’t sound glamorous! To be frank, it isn’t.  But it will help hundreds more of our elderly and disabled residents have their homes adapted to their personal needs.

Installing a ramp to help wheelchair users get into their homes more easily, or fitting a grab rail to stop trips and falls is never going to be headline news. But it does change people’s lives. And it’s what we’re doing day in, day out to make sure more people can lead safe, healthy and independent lives in their own homes for longer.

Let’s not forget, we provide these vital services, despite having lost 64% of our funding – worth £441million a year. I always tell people that we receive £174million from you in Council Tax. This sounds a big number, and it is. But £172million of that is used to pay for Adult Social Care. It’s one of our biggest areas of spend because I made a conscious choice to prioritise those who are most in need.

We are still waiting for a Government Green Paper which is meant to set out the long term vision for making social care sustainable. We’ve been waiting since 2017 and with the government consumed by self-inflicted Brexit chaos I don’t expect to see it any time soon! In the meantime, I will keep making the bold decisions which are needed to make sure more people in our city can live and age well.