Councillor Norman Work has just been newly appointed as Edinburgh Council Carers’ Champion which was one of the key manifesto pledges of the Labour/SNP Capital Coalition.
An SNP councillor representing the Almond Ward, he has several years of experience under his belt, having first been elected to serve on the council in 2007.
Now, he has a role that he is quite excited about. He is the new Carers’ Champion who will help the council understand the problems and issues facing those caring for others in the city and help to resolve those by making recommendations to the council where appropriate, or simply raise the profile of the band of carers in Edinburgh. During our meeting he explained to The Reporter what is meant by the term ‘carer’. It is meant to identify someone who is unpaid and who helps someone else, whether a neighbour or relative, who cannot manage to live independently without that help for a variety of reasons.
There were estimated to be almost 40,000 carers in Edinburgh based on a census which is now more than ten years old, and that figure is now thought to be much greater. The Scottish Government have estimated that across the country around 14% of households have someone who needs care.
This is an important issue in the council’s view, and they have spent over £1m in the current financial year to support certain carers organisations. Now they want to find other ways to help such as increasing access to respite care. One of the administrations other priorities is to involve carers in the planning and delivery of certain services. It is clear that Councillor Work is eager to get started:-