Somerset County Council is inviting Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge residents to sign its parliamentary petition over social care funding.

The petition calls for cross-party discussions before Christmas to end the national social care funding shortfall and is part of the Council’s commitment to keeping the issue on the political and public agenda.

The ‘Stand Up For Care’ petition has the support of all the County Council’s political party leaders and was launched at a meeting this week of the authority’s Cabinet committee by Leader of the Council, Councillor David Fothergill (pictured below).

He said the issue is a “national emergency that has to be a national priority”. The petition can be found by following www.somerset.gov.uk/standupforcare.

David Fothergill with petition

10,000 signatures triggers a formal response from the Government while 100,000 would mean it is formally considered for a debate.

“This is not just a Somerset issue, but we are proud to be the authority that stands up for care,” Cllr Fothergill told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

“The future of social care is perhaps the biggest and most important challenge facing the country as a whole.”

“It urgently needs a long-term funding plan that will allow all local authorities up and down the country to provide the care and support people expect and deserve.”

“An issue this important needs political parties to come together to find a way forward, so I’m delighted that this petition has the support of all the parties and at the County Council.”

“I urge everyone to go online and sign it. This takes just a few seconds but you could be contributing to change that last lifetimes.”

Earlier this year, the council was at the centre of a two-part BBC Panorama documentary which made national headlines, highlighting the pressures and difficult decisions that come with meeting growing demand for social care at a time of limited funding.

Somerset County Council allowed the film crew to spend ten months with its social care staff and the resulting films received significant national media coverage, kick-starting political debate on the subject.

The petition can be found by following www.somerset.gov.uk/standupforcare.