Blog #1 Democracy

Having just taken on the role of Chair, I was going to concentrate on local issues in my first blog, and our plans for the year ahead. National events i.e. the General Election, have taken over so I’ll save that for a later date.

So what does a Tory majority government mean for us, parent carers in Cheshire East?

Well, from their manifesto the Conservatives aim to:

  • reduce spending on Welfare, making it harder to claim benefits (they still have not said how they will make £12bn savings)
  • increase spending on the NHS by £8bn a year by 2020, although this is just enough to maintain current services
  • We can expect to see more cuts to Local Authority budgets
  • Replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights (Is that Britain with or without Scotland?)
  • increase the number of free schools

I could go on, but other people can say it much more eloquently than me (blog) – all I know is, the next 5 years are going to be tough.

So what can we do about it?

Well, we can do what we always do when we get a reality check – pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and get stuck in with what needs to be done to make sure our children and young people get the support they need.

So we will continue our conversations with the Local Authority, Health, Social Care and Education. With the people who provide the services we use and the treatments we receive. And with the parent carers we are supposed to be representing.

Cheshire East Parent Carer Forum exists to represent ALL the parent carers of Cheshire East. We are not aligned with any political party, we aim to represent all disabilities and additional needs and ages 0 to 25. We receive funding directly from the Government (I hope that this will continue!) and we are run by a group of volunteer parent carers.

BUT we can’t represent you if we don’t know what your priorities are. We can publish survey after survey after email after text after Open Forum after consultation… None of it will make a difference if we all decide not to take part. We will do our best to make it as accessible as possible, but without YOU, your ideas, your opinions, your support, the Parent Forum won’t be able to speak out or challenge some of the tough decisions in the years ahead.

So please, when you come across a request to fill in a survey or an invitation to an event, please don’t just pass over it as too much trouble. It might be that your vote input is just what we need to make a real difference.

All comments welcome!

Nicola

Chair, CEPCF

One thought on “Blog #1 Democracy

  1. Saz Bailey

    Hi Nicola. Well done for getting your first post out – that’s a challenge all of it’s own!

    We are all incredibly busy with competing priorities. When It’s difficult to see where you can make the slightest bit and impact you easily allow things to slip of the radar. I’ve completed surveys and I attended the consultation for services for children with special needs moving forward. I am pleasantly surprised by how keen they were to involve the parent carer voice in it’s design. I think the key to motivating people to be more involved is clarity and specifics in achievable things, with pathways to easily observe any impact being made.

    Best, Saz

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