The Women’s Equality Party manifesto was published late on Friday, and unlike other party manifestos, has been expressly drafted with the intention for other parties to adopt its policies. While the manifesto focuses on their core aims with no specific section on local government, there are a lot of proposals that touch on services that local government provides.
There are some interesting thoughts on health and social care:
- Investing substantially in social infrastructure, which the WE party say will create twice as many jobs as investing in infrastructure
- Ensuring that when devolved, social care has sufficient resources
- Ending zero hours contracts for care workers and moving towards the living wage
- Investing in integrated health and social care
- There is also a strongly collaborative policy on housing, encouraging all political parties, housing charities, property developers, local authorities, the community and voluntary sector along with other experts to work together to build affordable housing. This collaboration is one of the key things missing from the housing debate, and key to making real change to the chronic housing crisis we are currently facing.
- As we would expect, there are also a number of policies towards ending violence towards women and girls, several of which could be delivered by local government – access to specialist support and advocacy series in their community, and making sure that front line staff (such as health care workers, police, social services etc) are able to identify potential victims of violence and act in a preventative way. This could have the potential to be expanded to other areas of local government, such as vulnerable adults and children, but what is missing is the mechanism for how this should practically be delivered.