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Opinion & Analysis

Who’s listening?

By Joelle Ladislaus

There are too many social inequalities and injustices out there to cover in the space of this article - that says it all. We live in an age where social media has given everyone a voice, unfortunately not everyone is heard amongst the beating of chests that has become a feature of the current administration.

The tragic norm at the moment appears to be a demoralised civil service that does not have the resources to deliver much needed services for our community, and the result is that the most vulnerable are suffering worst. What is resonating loudly and clearly is that many of our professionals, or indeed the stakeholders, are not being listened to or taken seriously.

It is not a privilege which belongs to the fortunate few to be listened to, it is an entitlement in a modern democracy, and one that the GSD will protect at all cost.

The number of times that the word “review” features in our manifesto is a sad reflection of the huge amount of issues that have been created by the GSLP/Liberal Alliance which need consideration. Gibraltar 2050 sets out the foundations for our vision for the future, but building it is something we must do together, in consultation with our community and our experts.

The lack of collaboration between policy makers, professionals and the people is endemic across the whole civil service and the message applies to all departments. However, I have chosen to focus on specific examples within our health and care services, because these are areas which have the biggest impact on our people’s daily lives.

This year the Government spent an estimated £5 million on music festivals, and yet a child with special needs in our community can only go to nursery once they are 3 years old, because there simply aren’t the resources to allow this to happen.

If that child cannot attend nursery and one, or both, of their parents have to forego a job in order to remain at home to care for them, there is significantly less income in that family.

As a consequence of their limited income, that family will be unable to provide basics for that child, which would enable their lives to be greatly improved or even to purchase an “affordable” home.

Unfortunately, obtaining much needed assistance becomes another nightmare as the family are forced to jump bureaucratic hurdles to get limited assistance from brilliant, but over-stretched professionals and departments. What we are faced with is a vicious cycle that is perpetuated by ineffective micro-management of our health and care services.

Enabling the most vulnerable in our society to have the basics that many of us are lucky enough to take for granted and listening to our professionals must happen now. I am privileged to have been given the opportunity to have my voice heard. Vote GSD and ensure that your voice is heard too.

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