Gavin Barker standing in Boscawen for Truro City Council
I was born in St Ives Cornwall and went to primary school there before my parents moved away. I have spent a large part of my life living and working in London and abroad but my grandparents remained here so we always came back for visits. Later, after my father died my mother moved back, I returned to care for my mother after she suffered a series of falls in 2013.
Cornwall is home. I love this place but like so many locals, I found it a real struggle to find affordable accommodation and work.
My caring duties brought me in regular contact with NHS and adult social care services and for the first time I really began to understand the pressures on health staff and GP services. They do a brilliant job, no question! But they do it despite lack of support and cuts to resources. Our health professionals go the extra length because they believe in what they do and are utterly committed to the values of professionalism, care and service to others.
These are values that are being corroded and undermined in the name of ‘efficiency savings’ and privatisation. The Sustainability and Transformation Plan is simply another move in the same direction; its high sounding ideals and well meaning words act as a cover for deep cuts and privatisation; and not just health and social care but every area of public services, from social housing to parks and public toilets, the mantra of cuts and privatisation eats away at vital services that we all depend on.
This is not the country I grew up in nor one that I want to leave to the next generation. They deserve better, We deserve better! As a local town councillor I am aware that there are limits to what can be done and the more restricted range of services that parish and town councils provide. Nevertheless I will do all in my power to maintain and strengthen the valued services they provide, from parks and public libraries to allotments and public conveniences. Truro and the people of Truro deserve nothing less.