Too many older people in the Borders? We think not!
Borderers are proud to uphold a decent, neighbourly society where self-reliance is matched by courtesy, respect for older people and assistance for those who need it.
We are angered by negative remarks, especially from Councillors, about the number of older people in the Borders.
The Borders Party believes that older people bring with them their experience, needs, money and interests; all of which can benefit the local community and help to provide employment.
It is true that local authorities have a growing duty of care to the elderly but it is quite wrong that a discriminatory line should be taken against them just because of a current funding regime, when in fact older people have so much to offer the region. We are all getting older!
The Borders has strong and expertly organised voluntary services, which help and enable individuals and many communities to achieve great things, and at minimal cost to the public purse. But support for community and voluntary groups and small social enterprises will be much reduced unless Scottish Borders Council can find extra funding. The Borders Party will work to restore proper funding to the Voluntary Sector as soon as possible.
Social Work Services
Scottish Borders Council provides important social services to the vulnerable of all ages in Borders society. This includes services to people with disabilities and the homeless. The Borders Party is committed to supporting the work of the Social Work Department and fully appreciates the increasing statutory demands made by the Scottish Government and other agencies.
We see effective joint working with NHS Borders, other statutory bodies, and the voluntary sector, as essential. Often the range of needs to be met extends well beyond the scope of Social Work. The Council’s recent Commission on Poverty shows how poverty in the Borders is often concealed, making a coordinated and inter-agency approach all the more important.
All Council departments must consider the effect of their work on vulnerable people. Good public transport, for instance, is not just about labour mobility, it is crucial to both social inclusion and personal independence, especially in a rural area like the Borders. We will help the elderly to live in their own homes for longer, establish new visiting schemes for those who live alone, and make sure that those who need help – young as well as old – get it early on, not just when things have gone badly wrong.
The Borders Party would encourage and support the work done by the many voluntary organisations and individuals who support vulnerable people in the Borders: important work, which as well as helping individuals often strengthens communities. We will also consider other innovative approaches and partnerships, as well as learning best practice from other authorities and from abroad.
Tell us what you think
The Borders Party is fully committed to taking the views of Borderers into account, so please contact us and let us have your thoughts on how we can best serve the Borders.