Monday, May 3, 2010

One Nil to the People

Occasionally, as a Councillor, you score a quick, emphatic and satisfying result. Amid all the slow-burners, there is the odd firecracker. One such was last week. On the Monday I had a call from a distressed woman from my patch with a terminal illness saying she'd just been told she was losing a small but significant chunk of care. What's more she told me the council were holding out the possibility of a care-home if she didn't go along. I went round to check her story and managed to corroborate this with her advocate, her GP and a third party from a charity.

I got the wheels in motion that day with a polite email to the director of social care suggesting that this maybe wasn't such a good idea, particularly given that this lady's needs were, if anything, going to get worse very soon. Within 24 hours, the lady was called at home and informed that there was never a plan to cut her hours and that these were merely ideas, not solidy proposals. A call to her advocate put this right. Things were moving swiftly along and thank-you Councillor, it clearly made a big difference that you put in that call.

Now I know that Suffolk, like all places, has some ugly cuts to make. But crafty, nasty cuts meted out to people who they believe aren't going to bite back are not really on. While Councillor's are the pond-life of Britain's political scene, we are probably its most powerful Advocates.

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