The fact that we have a growing number of elderly people here in the UK is not a secret and cannot be a surprise to anyone who has been aware of the so-called baby boom that followed the second world war or the effect of the birthrate falling across the developed world in more recent decades. The demographic bulge poses some real challenges for us as a society
The degree to which our older population is living for far longer as a result of improved living conditions, better diet and the national health service has recently become apparent too. Now, it might seem heartless to talk about “older populations” and the “challenges” to society but that isn’t what is meant. Older people are our parents or grandparents, our neighbours, friends and ourselves. Older people made this country what it is, building it afresh after the wreckage and carnage of the second world war. Our lives are immeasurably better for what they did, the work done and the sacrifices they made. We love them and want to ensure that the older, frail members of our communities who need appropriate housing that allows them to live independently for longer, help with washing, cooking, getting out of bed or personal care get what they need. This care is provided through local councils and not through the NHS that has enormous cost pressures of its own.
Nobody wants to pay more Council Tax than they need to but nobody wants to neglect the generation that cared for us. I think it is a shame when people wanting your vote talk about, “frontline services that matter to residents like emptying bins, cleaning streets, cutting grass and clamping down on fly-tipping and littering.” Absolutely zero mention of care for older people who really need care and no mention of caring for the shocking numbers of neglected, abused or vulnerable children who are also the responsibility of the Council. I hope that I will always put the care of our people in need ahead of grass cutting in my priorities.