Goodbye Mr. C, hello Mrs. M!

Well, there’s no denying the political merry-go-round is spinning at light speed, there’s something new to debate everyday at the moment. In fact, every hour.

Yesterday, we saw Theresa May formally appointed as our next Prime Minister. Her speech outside of Number 10 spoke of leading a ‘one nation’ government that works for all not just the ‘privileged few’. Strong words, strong intentions. OK, well let’s see some positive action then. ‘Proof of the pudding’ and all that, time will tell.

Interestingly, the PM, in a nutshell, was making the point that there needs to be greater equality amongst citizens. No one can argue against that premise. But let’s hope Mrs May thinks of this when it comes to promoting the rights of the most vulnerable in our society too and help to enable them to be active citizens; to be supported appropriately to engage in their own lives and play a part in the wider community. We are all aware, to achieve this our sector needs to be equipped with the right ‘tools’, whether they be adequate funding, a change in commissioning practices (maybe a minimum commissioning rate, imagine that?!…) and support to keep EU workers in the sector, for example. The ADASS Budget survey announced yesterday also highlights once again, that there simply is not enough funding available, and acknowledges the sector is pushed to its limit. So, come on Mrs. May, please have a read!

The cabinet shake up will be an interesting one. In fact I’ve just read Boris is back in the headlines – as Foreign Secretary no less. I think we can look forward to a period of ‘surprises’. In fact by the time you read this, anything could have happened!

Let’s remember though, with change comes opportunity. I mentioned last fortnight that Esther, our Membership and Services Officer, had attended the Care and Support Alliance Members meeting to review the forthcoming strategy.

This new strategy revealed a directional plan to work towards engaging with Conservative MPs, after all they are the ones with most significant influence in the political arena at the moment. This brings an opportunity to educate, inform and ultimately challenge policy for the betterment of social care and people who use services. So when the dust settles I guess we will see who those people are and whose eyes need to be opened a little bit wider.

And so … Brexit (you didn’t think I wouldn’t mention the B word did you?). I think we all know that the ramifications of this are still to be unveiled, in terms of how leaving the EU will affect the economy, funding, the social care workforce and other longer term issues. To be honest these are issues that already face us!

Our sector, although in a fragile state at the moment, also has a strength that should not be underestimated. We need to continue to pull together; together we can and do bear influence.

The PM has clearly reiterated that ‘Brexit means Brexit’. And I think now we will see some plans carved out and (finally) some thinking around our ‘divorce’ settlement and understand what we want that to look like, whether we get what we want is a different matter.

ARC will of course be keeping abreast of developments. If you have any comments on how you think Brexit will impact you and your organisation, as always, please get in touch.

Lisa Lenton
ARC England Director