Steve Bradley, Dominic Tristram, Janine Woodward-Grant, Ollie Middleton and Ben Howlett.
Steve Bradley (Liberal Democrats), Dominic Tristram (Greens), Ben Howlett (Conservatives) and Ollie Middleton (Labour) took questions from the audience of carers about the issues facing the Bath community in health and social care.
Many of the questions focused on funding for the NHS and management of the seemingly inevitable cuts to come.
All candidates recognised the important role that unpaid carers play in looking after people in their own homes.
They said they wouldn’t support cuts to the NHS and wanted to introduce a more integrated health and social care system that focused on the whole person, and helped better support unpaid carers
Other questions looked at the state of mental health service provision and what parties will do to protect the most vulnerable groups in our society.
A group of young carers, though not old enough to vote, also had their say, challenging the candidates to outline plans to ensure young people, including young carers, can reach their full potential.
One audience member said he hoped he would see candidates ‘walk the walk’ of their election promises.
He said ‘[carers] are saving this country billions – please, help us.’
Carers are faced with an incredibly stressful, exhausting and isolating role, which is a daily reality for at least 20,000 people in Bath and North East Somerset.
Unpaid carers save the state £119bn each year, and yet they can find themselves in poverty as many give up an income, future employment prospects and pension rights to continue caring.
The evening was a great opportunity to hear direct from candidates their plans to tackle deeply embedded issues in our community.
We would like to thank all of the candidates and attendees for their time