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Local Government Responsibilities: Public Services

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:43 pm on 18th March 2020.

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Photo of Jim McMahon Jim McMahon Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Devolution) 4:43 pm, 18th March 2020

That is absolutely the case, but it is also running on high levels of vacancies—there are 120,000 vacancies in adult social care. We are highly vulnerable to staff in that industry becoming ill and going into self-isolation, which is why the question of the protection and support they are given becomes so important. It is absolutely about making sure that, first and foremost, they are considered in the same way as hospital staff. Making sure that they get the proper protective equipment that they need is critical, not just to protect the patients who are being dealt with and the receivers of adult social care, but for the individuals who are placing themselves in a very risky situation, going into people’s homes without knowing who that person has been in contact with, but doing it anyway because they believe in the care they are offering.

My hon. Friend Apsana Begum made a really important point that went beyond adult social care: the fabric of our society has changed as a result of the cuts. The 70% reduction in youth services has almost certainly had an impact on knife crime, on county lines, and on whether people feel they have a stake in the future.