The Liberal Democrats are calling for a higher minimum wage for care workers in Leicestershire, to tackle chronic staff shortages in social care.
It comes as the latest figures reveal Leicestershire has 1,168 job vacancies in the social care sector, meaning there is a vacancy rate of around 7.5%.
These chronic staff shortages are leading to patients being left stuck in hospitals waiting for social care, contributing to record-breaking waits in A&E and dangerous ambulance delays.
Under the Liberal Democrat plans, social care workers would be paid at least £2 an hour more than the current minimum wage, bringing their pay up to at least £11.50 an hour today - and £12.42 from this April. The proposals would benefit up to 15,000 people working in the social care sector in Leicestershire
Commenting, Leader of Leicestershire Liberal Democrat County Councillors Michael Mullaney said:
"The social care crisis is having a devastating impact vulnerable people's wellbeing, and contributing to record long waits at A&E and terrible ambulance delays in our area.
"Too many people in Leicestershire are stranded in hospital beds because there simply aren't enough care workers to look after them at home or in a care home.
"The first step to fixing this mess is to pay those working in social care more, to prevent the exodus of workers to supermarkets and other better paid jobs. I have seen first-hand the incredible job that care workers do day in and day out. This is a skilled and crucial job and it should be paid more. Some years ago I worked as a care worker for elderly people and I understand what an essential job care workers do". "
Commenting, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey added:
"It is heart-breaking that millions of elderly and vulnerable people across the country are struggling to get the care they need and deserve. Our NHS is collapsing and social care is completely broken after years of broken Conservative promises.
"The Conservatives' neglect of social care services has caused an exodus of staff to better paying jobs. Our plan for a Carer's Minimum Wage would tackle these chronic staff shortages in social care, and help take pressure off the NHS."
A Hinckley County Councillor has renewed calls for a safe road crossing to be installed near a Hinckley School.
Lib Dem Councillor for Hinckley De Montfort Michael Mullaney has campaigned with local parents, residents and fellow Hinckley Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray to get a safe crossing near St Peter’s School on London Road, Hinckley.
This follows news that Leicestershire County Council have again decided against putting a crossing there.
In a written submission to the County Council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee Michael Mullaney set out why a crossing was still needed there
“A huge number of residents in the area I represent on the County Council and the area my two fellow Hinckley County Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray represent support a safe crossing at St Peter’s School on London Road in Hinckley. 8,850 residents signed a petition supporting the campaign.
“There are safety concerns, there have been a number of near misses involving pupils and parents going to the school. Although not recorded it is believed that there was an accident leading to a fatality some years ago along this part of London Road when a pedestrian was knocked over.
“Whilst I appreciate the extra road safety measures that are proposed for London Road near St Peter’s School I am extremely disappointed that the request for a safe road crossing has not been supported in the report.
“There is widespread support for it and Cllrs Bill, Bray and myself identified funding for putting a crossing in at the site through the Members Highway Fund, a fund which was developed with the apparent intention of supporting Highways causes that were important in Councillor’s local areas.
“Whilst it’s welcome that a crossing person has been recruited for St Peter’s School there is always the risk that the person may step down from the job and it may be difficult to find a new person (as it took some years to recruit a crossing person there, with no school crossing patrol between 2017 and 2022 despite attempts to recruit to the post). A safe pedestrian crossing at the site however would be a permanent safety measure that would benefit pupils and parents and residents more generally crossing the road there.
“Whilst I welcome the fact there will be some safety improvements at the site I and many residents believe there still needs to be a safe permanent crossing at St Peter’s School. I therefore urge the County Council to rethink and agree to installing a crossing near St Peter’s School”