Central government funding for local services is being cut by 40% in this parliament, which is hitting Cambridgeshire’s social care services for the vulnerable elderly. This means that when frail, elderly patients are well enough for discharge from hospital, they often wait for weeks in precious hospital beds before adequate care packages can be arranged so they can be discharged. This leads to the cancellation of other patients’ non-urgent surgery and to sick patients spending hours on trolleys in A&E. Labour campaigned hard for Cambridgeshire County Council to take up their option to increase council tax by 2% in order to plug dangerous gaps in services, the so-called “social care precept.” However, when the county council’s budget was set last May, Labour’s proposal was outvoted by Conservatives on the council so there are likely to be further cuts and the situation is likely to get worse. Labour will continue its campaign to protect vital services for the elderly so that hospital beds can be used for the patients who really need them.