What is needed?
Our city's Social Care services are in crisis. Current approaches, both locally & nationally, are demonstrably failing older people and vulnerable adults of working age and young people in need of care from our services in Sheffield. A comprehensive, multi-agency approach is needed to support young people at risk of involvement in criminal activity including knife crime.
But, unlike Labour, we do not believe Sheffield’s social care failings can be solved simply by throwing money at the problem. Older people and those of working age who need support and care are less satisfied with the quality of social care service than people in other large cities. Sheffield gets poorer results than other cities with similar levels of funding.
Good quality housing is vital for well-being and an adequate supply of housing should be available to meet the needs of our population. Sheffield needs a range of new properties across the city for young people, families and retired people who wish to downsize.
What we will do
Improve care for vulnerable young people
● Liberal Democrats will reimburse foster carers the cost of their council tax to help them care for our most vulnerable children & young people, encouraging more people to become foster carers and reducing the number of young people who are placed in homes out of Sheffield which may be detrimental to them as well as more expensive to provide.
● Provide free transport passes for young careers to enable them to get to school more easily and access social activities and other support that they need.
● Adopt a public health approach, involving all agencies, to tackle the issue of knife crime. Campaign for a major national reinvestment in youth services.
Improve social care
● We would support elderly and vulnerable people through better integrated health and social care, keeping public health under local authority control.
● Call for the devolution for NHS and social care spending powers to Sheffield City Region.
● We would implement best social care practice, learning from other core cities.
● Use the central government adult social care grant to fund training for front line social care staff to improve the quality of care and the retention of staff.
● Focus on early intervention to prevent problems as we get older and expand on the ‘People keeping well’ initiative to cover the whole city. Promote successful, mutual well-being activity that cuts across age groups – for example, schools helping pupils to engage with elderly in their area.
● Improve access to advice and information for people with long term care needs and their carers.
● Encourage safety for school students by installing crossings where required to ensure safe routes to school. Employ more school crossing patrols.
● Encourage children to walk or cycle to school, reducing pollution and congestion near schools, by increasing awareness among parents, enforcing traffic regulations and introducing further enforcement powers.
● Where students live some distance from school we will ensure safe transport which meets the statutory guidance for all school students.
● Promote cycle use, including cycles with electric motors which enable more people to cycle in hilly Sheffield, by improved routes, parking areas and cycle hire schemes.
● Investigate ways to work with schools and children’s mental health services to provide mental health support in schools.
● Launch a public health campaign – equivalent to the ‘Five a Day’ healthy eating campaign – that promotes steps people can take to improve their own mental resilience.
Improve housing options
● Liberal Democrats nationally would build an additional 300,000 homes a year by 2022.
● Explore building of more social housing through council borrowing.
● Ensure rented properties are safe to live in, whether the landlord is the council, a housing association or a private landlord by improving the enforcement of housing regulations.
● Support the development of attractive housing targeted at disabled and elderly residents, whether private or rented properties, to enable people to remain in their own homes for longer and to free up larger properties for families.
● Use the new homes bonus to help clean brown field sites to enable use for housing.
● Identify sites for housing by prioritising previously developed sites.
● Ensure that developers comply with the need to provide a range of housing types, including affordable homes, in all large-scale developments.