Our councils deserve praise; they’re doing their best – The Yorkshire Post says

IT IS important that complaints against town halls, as highlighted by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s annual report, is placed in wider context.

Social care is the biggest challenge facing local authoities in the region.

Even though cases are up, as they are across the country, this is, in many ways, to be expected as more people become aware of their ‘rights’ when services fall short of the standards that they expect and demand.

But it should be pointed out that the complainants represent a tiny proportion of the number of people – and families – that councils do serve on a daily basis, and still do, after a decade of spending restraint.

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And the key is making sure town halls – and other public bodies – respond swiftly to complaints, and then learn and implement the relevant lessons, before the Ombudsman ever becomes involved. That’s the ultimate objective. Yet this is not without its challenges when successive prime ministers, including Boris Johnson, have failed to reform social care and come up with a funding solution that reflects the needs of an ageing society.

Significantly social care is excluded from this report – it will be the subject of a separate critique – but the current policy vacuum compromises public and private care providers as they try to main standards under the tightest of financial backdrops.

Perhaps Michael King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, might care to acknowledge this when he next reports and join the growing calls, led by The Yorkshire Post, for Parliament to start addressing the future needs of the elderly, vulnerable and all those that care for them. This cannot happen a day too soon.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

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Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson