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This week is Carers Week, which highlights the invaluable work carried out by carers, and what we can do to make sure they feel supported.

Few of us will go through life without having to provide or arrange care for another person, whether they are a relative or a close friend.

The numbers speak for themselves – there are an estimated 6.5 million carers in the UK, with almost 11,000 in my constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South alone.

Carers often make huge personal sacrifices to help those in need – and while looking after someone who is ill or disabled can be fulfilling, it can also take a physical, emotional and financial toll.

The hard work involved with caring means many suffer from health problems such as depression and anxiety, while the need to be available for someone day and night means some carers find it difficult to have time to themselves, and can become increasingly isolated.

Others have to give up work to provide care, and frequently do this unpaid – meaning they risk falling into poverty or financial hardship as a result.

They also help relieve some of the strain on our health and social care system, which would simply buckle under the pressure without their dedication and hard work.

It’s clear we owe carers a huge debt of gratitude, and we should use Carers Week to celebrate the contribution they make to our society, and look at how we can help them with their own health and wellbeing.

The government should also be doing its utmost to address carers’ needs, but swingeing Tory cuts to social care have only made life more difficult for them and people receiving care alike.

Local councils have lost a staggering £6.3 billion in social care funding since 2010, and face a huge shortfall in the coming years. As a result, our social care system is on the brink of collapse, putting an ever-greater burden upon carers.

This is not to mention the growing pressure on our NHS, as increasing numbers of elderly and vulnerable people are forced to go to A&E to access the care they need.

As life expectancy continues to rise, the need to ensure social care is fair and sustainable will only become more pressing.

This means a system that provides dignity for both those receiving care, and those who provide it - so that they can continue to lead healthy and active lives.

Read this article in the Sunderland Echo here

Bridget Phillipson MP: We owe carers a huge debt of gratitude

This week is Carers Week, which highlights the invaluable work carried out by carers, and what we can do to make sure they feel supported.



On Friday 01 June I held my sixteenth coffee morning on anti-social behaviour at Silksworth Youth and Community Centre, which provided an opportunity for residents to raise their concerns about a number of local and national issues.

We were joined by PC Kirsty Smith, who discussed current problems with anti-social behaviour in Silksworth and the surrounding areas, particularly motorcycle disorder, littering, and flytipping.

PC Smith outlined the steps the police are taking to address these issues, and it is clear that despite the significant financial pressure on Northumbria Police due to government cuts, officers are doing their best to tackle anti-social behaviour.   

I hold similar events for constituents throughout the year, where you can meet with me and your local police officer, and discuss the issues affecting our community as well as my work in Parliament. If you would like to attend a future event, please email me at: bridget.phillipson.mp@parliament.uk

Bridget Phillipson MP: Coffee Morning in Silksworth

On Friday 01 June I held my sixteenth coffee morning on anti-social behaviour at Silksworth Youth and Community Centre, which provided an opportunity for residents to raise their concerns about a number of...

Bridget_Phillipson_presses_Education_Secretary_on_Grammar_Schools.PNG

On Monday 14th May, I pressed the government on its misguided decision to spend millions on grammar schools, rather than tackling the root causes of educational inequality in the north east.

It is completely unacceptable that almost one in three children at secondary school in our region attend a school rated “inadequate” or in need of improvement.

Yet rather than helping cash-strapped local schools drive up standards, the government is set to expand selective education - despite the lack of evidence to suggest this will reduce the gap in educational attainment between north and south.

Later that week, I also helped to lead an inquiry into the process of turning schools into academies as part of my work on the Public Accounts Committee, the cross-party group of MPs that scrutinises government spending.

I raised concerns that the government’s academisation policy and the absence of a clear vision for schools is creating a more fragmented education system - leading to questions about whether this is always the most effective way of driving up standards and outcomes for children.

At a time of educational inequality and swingeing Tory cuts to school budgets, the government should be focusing less on structures and resurrecting grammar schools - and more on ensuring that all children get the best possible start in life.

Watch Bridget's question to the Education Secretary here

Bridget Phillipson MP: Fighting for better education

On Monday 14th May, I pressed the government on its misguided decision to spend millions on grammar schools, rather than tackling the root causes of educational inequality in the north east....


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