I went to an event at New Parks Youth and Community Centre organised by the Multiple Sclerosis Society where I met Amit, his wife Martine and their two sons Ethan and Keelan.
Amit was diagnosed with MS in 1990 and he’s now in the secondary progressive stage of the condition. Martine takes on most responsibility for looking after her husband but Ethan and Keelan also help out at home, for example taking Amit his medicines in the morning and helping with the cleaning and gardening.
No-one has ever asked Martine whether she or her children need practical or emotional help. When the Government’s Care Bill was in the House of Commons I pressed for votes to put a legal duty on GPs, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities to identify carers of all ages so they can get the right advice and support. Ministers said this wasn’t necessary, and we lost the vote.
However, talking to Ethan, Keelan, Martine and Amit shows me the Government is wrong. I will continue to press for more support for carers in Leicester and in Westminster, to make sure they get the support they deserve. You can read more about this issue here.
The Council is consulting on whether they should continue to subsidise the city’s two municipal golf courses and I recently visited Western Park golf club to meet with the management committee and receive a petition to keep the course open that’s been signed by more than 2,500 people.
The coalition Government has slashed Leicester City Council’s budget by more than a third. This means the Council has to make extremely difficult decisions about where savings will be made, not just in sports and leisure services but housing, libraries, care for the elderly and children’s centres.
Western Park golf course is a hugely valuable community asset with a rich history and a great deal of potential going forward. I want to work with the club and the City Mayor – who I will be raising this issue with – to see if we can find a sustainable model to keep golf at Western Park in future.
I’m campaigning for more affordable housing in Leicester West – including building more rented social housing – and help for homeowners through the recession.
As Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People I’m campaigning for better services and support for older people, carers and their families, and a sustainable system for funding social care in future.
I’m working to help your family by pressing for faster progress in local schools, more improvements in our NHS, and continued investment in children’s early years.
Helping businesses and making sure people have got the skills and training they need to work and earn a decent living is a top priority in Leicester West.