Recognition for the vital role of carers

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I was pleased to be back at home in Pendle recently after a busy week in Parliament.

Last week marked the end of the Parliamentary year, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament by the Queen and the last Parliamentary session before the General Election.

The Care Bill was back in the House of Commons. It is a Bill I have taken a keen interest in, having sat on the Care Bill Committee.

And I was pleased to see cross-party support has been maintained for most aspects of this important piece of new legislation.

The Care Bill brings together existing social care law and introduces important new rights for carers. It is a significant step forward in recognising the vital role performed by the estimated 6.5 million carers across the United Kingdom.

Also welcome was that Section 106(2) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 came into force.

While this sounds complicated, all it means is that people who are attacked by dogs on private property, including in people’s gardens or in the communal area of a block of flats, now have protection under the law.

This is really important in Pendle, where dog attacks happen all too frequently, but prosecutions haven’t taken place as the incident happened on private property.

This is a legal change I have been campaigning for and I am pleased it has now happened.

Given my recent ill health and the fact I still need to see nurses every other day, I am pleased I won’t be back in Westminster for a couple of weeks.

It also meant I was around on Monday for the opening of the new Colne Health Centre, a multi-million pound investment meaning Colne residents, including myself, can now be treated in a brand new and modern setting rather than the old over-crowded facilities.