Comment: ‘The council deserves credit for listening’

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today we report on two victories, two cases where people power has been listened to and acted upon by those in real power.

They are both stories which have been highlighted in these pages, and they are both examples of how standing up for what you know to be right is never the wrong thing to do.

Just ask the staff and supporters of the Engine Shed. This vital project was facing the prospect of being closed down after almost 25 years of successfully helping young adults with learning disabilities into mainstream employment.

The city council’s shake-up of services for the disabled threatened the loss of its annual funding. The outcry was immediate. A petition signed by 10,300 people is hard to ignore.

Today’s news of a stay of execution is welcome, but the work to secure the long-term future of the project has only just begun.

Likewise, with today’s pledge by the city council to examine the provision of home care services across the city.

The issue was brought into sharp focus when we reported the story of Mabel McGuire, whose care was described as being like a “formula one pitstop”.

She was meant to receive visits of 45 minutes. In fact, carers would often spend little more than five.

After we took up the story, Mabel has now received an apology and the level of care being provided has increased significantly.

More importantly, the council’s social care leader Ricky Henderson has ordered a report into the wider issue. Given the response our story generated, we hope this will lead to pensioners across the city seeing a drastic improvement in the care they receive.

There is a long way to go, but it is fantastic to be able to report on two positive developments today.

The city council deserves credit for listening and responding over both issues. Let’s hope it continues.