The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to raise Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year, to help support 7,880 unpaid carers in Bristol during the coronavirus pandemic.
The party’s leader, Ed Davey, who has promised to “be the voice of the 9 million carers in our country”, has written to the Prime Minister urging him to recognise the “challenges that have been made even harder by coronavirus.”
The Liberal Democrat proposals centre around increasing Carer’s Allowance from its current rate of £67.25 a week to £87.25, in line with the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit announced at the start of the pandemic.
The latest government figures show that 5,667 unpaid carers in Bristol currently receive Carer’s Allowance.
However, the Liberal Democrats are also calling for the 2,213 people who are entitled to Carer’s Allowance but do not receive it due to overlapping benefits – mostly older carers on low incomes – to be given the extra £20 a week as well.
Launching the campaign, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
“Unpaid carers face big challenges every single day; challenges that have been made even harder by coronavirus.
“Many carers are facing extreme financial hardship. They have been struggling for months, often relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and the people they care for.
“So Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to support carers by raising Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year, now.”
Cllr Tim Kent, Bristol Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Care in Bristol and Cllr for Hengrove & Whitchurch Park added:
“Unpaid carers in Bristol are doing a remarkable and important job in very difficult circumstances.
“Our wonderful carers deserve our support, but they are too often forgotten or ignored.
“Liberal Democrats will stand up for carers and lead the way to a more caring society.”
The Bristol Lib Dems regretfully announce that Mayoral Candidate Mary Page has had to stand down for personal reasons.
The postponement of the election has caused disruption for many people but most particularly for candidates, who have had to put their lives on hold for a further twelve months.
Financial circumstances have forced Mary to seek a new employment and her employer does not support her active involvement in politics.
The Bristol Lib Dems have begun the process of selecting a new candidate. We will continue campaigning energetically. Our campaign to Scrap the Mayor has been gathering strong local support. We want to save Bristolians millions annually, restore council democracy, and increase involvement of local people by reinvigorating our neighbourhood councils.
Baroness Barbara Janke said ‘Due to changed personal circumstances Mary Page will no longer be the Lib Dem Mayoral candidate. We are sorry to lose her but recognise that the postponing of the election has caused her to reconsider her candidacy.
I know she found it a privilege and a pleasure to be our candidate. Mary made great progress in promoting our campaign to Scrap the Bristol Mayoral position. We send her our thanks for her hard work and all good wishes for her future in her new job.”
Pero’s Bridge, the busy pedestrian bridge crossing the harbour, was opened in 1999 and named after Pero Jones - an enslaved African who lived in Bristol. There is a small plaque dedicating the bridge to Pero, but hidden behind bike stands, it is barely visible to passers-by.
We think that Pero’s memory, and the rest of Bristol’s slave trading past, should be properly highlighted at the site, and are calling for a proper noticeboard detailing the history of the slave trade, including Pero’s story, and the recent story of the Colston statue being taken down and thrown into the Harbour not 30 feet from the bridge.
In recent years the bridge has been adorned with thousands of 'love-locks', meant to symbolise the love of the couples that place them. While this love is admirable, the symbolism of covering a bridge dedicated to a slave in padlocks is not acceptable. The locks should be removed, and a different site should be suggested for any future shows of love.
Lib Dem candidate for Hotwells & Harbourside, Alex Hartley, examining the 'love-locks'
Alex Hartley, Lib Dem Candidate for Hotwells & Harbourside said "Bristol has a difficult relationship with it's past as a centre of slavery, but this is not something we can forget. We need to educate all about our collective history. What is the point in naming a bridge after a slave if you don't eduacte Bristolians about that slave or the slave trade in general. To add insult to injury, the symbolism of hundreds of padlocks being attached to a bridge named after a slave is frankly shocking. We need to respect Pero's memory by removing the love-locks and putting up a proper noticeboard highlighting our past"
Please sign the petition to Respect Pero's Memory below;