February 14, 2017
Burnham-On-Sea MP praises local groups that tackle loneliness

Burnham-On-Sea's MP James Heappey has praised local groups that tackle loneliness within our community.

His comments come after visits to organisations across the constituency - including a community café in Shipham, dementia groups in Wells, a singing group and art class in Street, and Burnham-On-Sea's BAY Centre computer class and table tennis club.

"These groups are just the tip of the iceberg - one of the most amazing things about our part of Somerset is the rich tapestry of clubs, societies and associations that underpin our communities," he says.

"This voluntary and charitable sector is increasingly important in meeting the needs of our ageing population. All the evidence shows that when people are kept active and engaged in their community, they can live independently at home for far longer. That saves the taxpayer millions of pounds but much more importantly, it is what people want."

"I’ve spoken recently about the challenges of funding adult social care and there are certainly no easy answers. Japan and Germany have required people to take out insurances to fund their care in later life and we’ve just given councils the green light to put up council tax."

"Elsewhere in the developed world income taxes are going up or public services cut right back so that Government money can meet the burgeoning demand."

"Delivering sufficient adult social care to allow all in our society a dignified, happy and long retirement is the great public policy challenge of our time. Undoubtedly, it will require more public cash but the voluntary and charitable sectors as well as the growing network of micro-providers will be absolutely essential too."


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