Shropshire Council’s head of adult services, Stephen Chandler went on BBC Radio Shropshire yesterday morning (Thursday 29 January 2015) to talk about how the council is managing to provide better adult social care services while spending less.
It followed a nationwide cost of care study carried out by the BBC which showed that, during the last financial year, Shropshire Council spent less per person on care for the over 65s than any other council in England.
Within Shropshire the total spend per head of over 65s has reduced in the 10-year period from an average of £935 in 2003/04 to £644 per head in 2013/14, a reduction of 31%.
Stephen Chandler, Shropshire Council’s head of adult services, said:
“We’ve known this financial climate for quite some time. We’ve had a long term plan for creating resilience in Shropshire – that’s probably a 10-year plan which has a number of areas we’ve focused on. Firstly, we’ve invested a lot in prevention, that’s helping people stay healthy and well in their own communities and homes. Secondly, we’ve worked very, very closely with our partners.
“In October of last year there was an independent piece of work done looking at the quality of care, as rated by the regulator CQC (Care Quality Commission), on a council by council basis. Shropshire came out as the best performing council, with 96 per cent of services measured by CQC meeting the requirements. You can read the report here: http://www.caringhomes.org/quality-of-care/.
“The amount of money we have is really important; however, for us it is not the primary focus. Here in Shropshire it’s about how can we deliver the best outcomes for people at that time when they’re having a crisis or are in need. What we’ve done here in the council is redesign and fundamentally change how we support people when they contact us. So now, when people contact us, over 73 per cent of people we are able to satisfactorily resolve whatever it was that was causing them a problem at that time.
“How do we know that? Well, for the first time ever we are calling people back a few weeks later to check how they are, if they’ve followed our advice or if they’ve contacted any of our partners to get the right help for them. We’re receiving some really positive feedback.
“For those people who need more help, it means that they can enter the system earlier. We are also focusing on locally-based support, within people’s communities.
“So, for us it’s not just about money. It’s about we can make best use of the resources we have to continue to benefit and support elderly people across Shropshire.”
To hear the full interview, please click on the mp3 file on this page).http://shropshire.gov.uk/news/wp-content/uploads//care_costs.mp3
An honest account of the council’s work over the last year, through the eyes of its customers, their carers, staff and partners can be found in its most recent local account “Making it Real in Shropshire – our story so far” (http://shropshire.gov.uk/media/1311466/LocalAccountDec14-R26.pdf).
The council is well prepared for the Care Act (http://shropshire.gov.uk/adult-social-care/the-care-act/), which comes into effect on 1 April 2015.
A decision to delay by six months the redundancy of one full-time post affected by the proposed changes at Ludlow Museum Resource Centre has today been made by Councillor Steve Charmley and Councillor Tina Woodward, respectively Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member and deputy Cabinet member responsible for visitor economy.
The decision follows the recent public meeting, a productive meeting with The Friends of the Ludlow Museum and constructive dialogue with Philip Dunne MP.
The additional six months will allow Shropshire Council time to provide ongoing support to Ludlow Town Council with the relocation and operation of Ludlow Museum.
Shropshire Council will also set up a working group with the Friends and other interested parties and stakeholders to allow time for further dialogue and appropriate suggestions to be brought forward regarding services provided at Ludlow Museum Resource Centre.
Councillor Charmley said:
“Shropshire Council has undertaken service redesign in all areas of the council and will continue to develop options for the Ludlow Museum Resource Centre.
“We very much look forward to exploring options to deliver future funding opportunities and ways of delivering volunteering opportunities at the Museum Resource Centre, and we would like to thank all those who have emailed and written to the council highlighting the importance of the Centre and its collections.”
History Makers is a project that was part funded by the Longden, Ford and Rea Valley Local Joint Committee (LJC) in 2014.
Now fully established, the project aims to create a digital archive of interviews and memorabilia relating to World War I. Young people are interviewing and filming older members of the community, recording family involvement in the War and looking at objects of interest.
We need adult volunteers to make the initial contact with potential interviewees, explaining to them the purpose of the project and preparing them for interview. We are aiming to interview 50 people local to the geographical area of Longden, Ford and the Rea Valley, ie mainly Hanwood, Pontesbury and Minsterley. All their contributions are important to the project, whether it results in a video interview or simply having their memorabilia photographed for the website. No visit will be a waste of time.
We already have a good number of interested people on our database and more than 20 students from the Mary Webb School have volunteered to record and edit the material. It has been a delight to discover stories about the Home Front as well as the Western Front from people living locally, which otherwise would have remained hidden.
David Fairclough, a Shropshire Council community enablement officer, said:
‘‘The ‘History Makers’ project is an exciting project based in the heart of Shropshire. The idea is to bring multiple generations together with the aim of collating World War I memorabilia and stories from Shropshire people. The LJC were delighted to support this and we hope the community can too.”
If you are interested in volunteering for the History Makers research please contact:
Yvonne Davies, Project Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org,
leaving your name and contact details. We will then arrange a time to brief you and answer any questions you may have.
After five years of trading, Corner Patch – the shop with a bright profile on the high street of Oswestry – proves how the lives of the people who work there can be transformed.
Corner Patch Shop is supported by Shropshire Council to help adults with learning disabilities get the skills and confidence to work in their local community through experience in dealing with the public in a retail setting. It sells all manner of handcrafted gifts and items for the home, and is run by service users and staff from Patchworks, one of the council’s day opportunity services.
The shop moved from a workshop on an Oswestry industrial estate to the corner of Bailey Head and Albion Hill in Oswestry on 12 February 2010.
Freda Parry, Shropshire Council’s locality organiser, said:
“This was a huge change for us, but it’s made such a difference, we have not looked back.
“Five years ago we were a group of people being supported to make a range of textile products; it was good but we felt isolated, nobody knew about us.
“Now we are really the shop on the corner that is so much more – a great place to buy fabric goods and gifts. But also a place of work that is helping us to be more independent, working at our own pace, in a community that has welcomed us. Our neighbouring businesses have been very supportive.
“To mark our fifth birthday we are having a party on Monday 9 February 2015 and we want to invite you to celebrate with us.
“Corner Patch have big ideas for the future, we want to provide opportunities for more people to learn new craft and retail skills, but also the chance to grow in confidence and develop their independence.
“Please come and join in from 10.30am to 12.30pm to talk and find out much more.”
Feel the LOVE, it’s nearly Valentine’s Day – if you are stuck for ideas, Corner Patch has some lovely handmade gifts.
The shop is open Mondasy to Thursdays from 9am to 3pm.
In February 2014, Shropshire Council was allocated £11.38m as part of the Government’s commitment to improve broadband nationally and to provide access to superfast speeds for at least 90%* of premises in the Shropshire Council area by 2017. The funding was offered to the Council provided it could locate committed match funding on a £1 for £1 basis.
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) has subsequently committed to supporting Shropshire Council with a further procurement up to the value of £11.38m, regardless of the Council’s ability to secure the necessary full match funding beforehand. The agreement was based on Shropshire Council’s commitment to continue to seek match funding. Yesterday (29 January) Culture Secretary Sajid Javid MP was in Shropshire to announce a £7.7m contribution to the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to support the roll-out of fibre broadband in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. The allocation for the Shropshire Council area is likely to be £5,150,000.
Following a Cabinet decision in December**, Shropshire Council is progressing with a phase 2 procurement that is currently out to tender under the existing ‘framework contract’ arrangements that BDUK have in place. The tender process and contract negotiations should be completed by the summer, although any work is unlikely to start until the current phase 1 contract is completed at the end of 2016.
The phase 2 procurement will be funded entirely from the £11.38m from BDUK. The match funding element from the Marches LEP will be used to assess the next most economical procurement route once the phase 2 procurement process has completed.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for broadband, said:
“This is great news for the people who live work and visit Shropshire. It means that we’ll be able to provide access to fibre based broadband for even more of the people who are struggling with slow and unreliable broadband speeds.
“Whilst I acknowledge that there’s still much work to be done, I’d like to publicly commend the Council officers involved in the Connecting Shropshire programme in getting us to this advantageous position.”
Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, said:
“This additional funding is excellent news for Shropshire and the extra funding from BDUK will help take superfast broadband to 90% of premises in the Shropshire Council area. The UK already does more business online than any other European country and widespread access to superfast speeds will provide a welcome boost to Shropshire’s economy.”
Notes to editors:
For more information, please contact Callum McLagan at the Shropshire Council press office on 01743 252826 or email email@example.com
(All Shropshire Council news stories can be read at http://shropshire.gov.uk/news/)
About Connecting Shropshire
The Connecting Shropshire programme is bringing fibre based broadband to areas where it isn’t economically viable for commercial companies to provide do so. It’s a partnership between Shropshire Council, BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) that will enable more than 62,000 homes and businesses in Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin) to access faster broadband by the end of 2016.
Connecting Shropshire programme website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/
Photos showing the rollout of Connecting Shropshire can be downloaded for free from: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk1gij7M
Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:
- £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017
- £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
- £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life. For further information, see: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk
* The national commitment is for 95% of premises to have access to superfast broadband (i.e. download speeds above 24mbps) by 2017
** The Cabinet report can be found on the following link: http://shropshire.gov.uk/committee-services/documents/s5312/19%20Connecting%20Shropshire%20Phase%202.pdf
Shropshire Council and our waste contractor Veolia collect thousands of tonnes of recycling every year and people often ask what happens to the material. As a signatory to the national End Destinations of Recycling Charter we’re keen to highlight what happens to your recycling to show that it all gets recycled into useful items, and mostly in the UK.
Here are a few examples, showing what happens to some of the most popular materials. If you’d like to know more, please visit the waste pages of the Shropshire Council website by clicking here.
Paper goes to UPM Shotton paper mill near Chester where it is pulped and turned into newspapers.
Glass goes to Recresco in Ellesmere Port and INGS for export to Portugal. It is crushed and melted down to make glass bottles.
Cans go to Alu-trade in the West Midlands to be separated magnetically. Steel then goes to AMG in South Wales. Aluminium goes to Novelis in Cheshire. Here they get shredded and melted down to make new cans, fridges, car parts, bicycles and even aeroplanes!
Plastic goes to Jayplas in the midlands, Roydon Polythene in Manchester and Closed Loop Recycling Ltd. in London. It gets separated into different types which can be used to make fleeces, water butts, drainage pipes and more plastic packaging.
Garden waste goes to local farms in Shropshire. It is shredded, composted and spread on the land as a soil improver.
Cardboard goes to Oswestry Waste Paper. It is baled and sold on to various reprocessors including Smurfitt-Kappa paper mill in Birmingham who make cardboard packaging.
So you can see that your recycling is helping to supply UK manufacturing and supporting jobs in industry.
With your help, more than half of Shropshire’s household waste is recycled. Thank you for your efforts, and please keep up the good work!
Shropshire Council’s public protection team has successfully prosecuted a private hire driver who was found to be illegally plying for hire.
Minhaj Jawad, of Leegomery, Telford was sentenced at Shrewsbury Magistrates Court on 29 January 2015, after he was caught in the early hours of 24 August 2014 illegally collecting members of the public on St Mary’s Street, Shrewsbury, who had not booked through a licensed operator, an activity known as plying for hire. He was found guilty of plying for hire and consequently having invalid motor insurance for the journey undertaken. He was ordered by the Court to pay a total of £968.48 and has received 8 penalty points on his driving licence.
Karen Collier, operations manager – health and community protection, said:
“We welcome the decision of the Court in this case, and this demonstrates that Shropshire Council takes illegal private hire activities extremely seriously. Thanks to the work of our public protection officers, this offender has been successfully identified, investigated and now prosecuted. In addition, he will also face a review of his private hire driver’s licence before a licensing panel. Our advice to the trade is clear: private hire vehicles are not permitted to ‘ply for hire’, and where we identify such cases we will investigate them fully. Not only is this activity illegal, it will invalidate a driver’s insurance, putting customers at risk.”
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for public protection, commented:
“We will continue to crack down on unsafe taxi and private hire vehicles, and we encourage members of the public to report illegal activity to us. We can use this information to help determine our enforcement activities. Our public protection officers carry out vehicle and driver licensing checks across Shropshire to keep the public safe and stamp out illegal activity to ensure the safety of the public. They work closely with the police to carry out evening patrols, and will undertake ‘plying for hire’ operations using plain clothed officers.”
Shropshire Council encourages individuals to contact its public protection service on 0345 678 9000 if they have any suspicions of any illegal activity, or any concerns with private hire vehicles or taxis. Information can be given anonymously, and will always be treated in line with the council’s information governance policies.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been issuing people’s experiences about their Dry January challenge. Today Lesley Talbot, sexual health programme lead at Shropshire Council, gives us her final update about her experience.
Ok, now I know I am into full swing……laid up with this flu bug and I am looking at the label on the bottle of Covonia to make sure there’s no alcohol in it!
A hot toddy would really go down well at this moment in time…..now that’s determination.
On reflection, it definitely hasn’t been as hard as I thought it might be, and the Mukuru Project Liverpool will be £50 better off this month too!
Will I go back to seven glasses of wine a week? Probably not actually. I have decided to combine ‘meat free Mondays’ with ‘wine free Mondays,’ ta da……………………..
Lesley Talbot, sexual health programme lead
On 28 January 2015 over 40 local residents packed Priory Hall for the Much Wenlock and Shipton Local Joint Committee (LJC) meeting. They came to hear from local GPs about how they are keeping us healthy, and from Clive Wright, the Chief Executive of Shropshire Council, who spoke about the redesign of services.
Dr Wentel and Dr Stanford gave an overview of the many services they offer to patients at Much Wenlock and Cressage Medical Practice that all contribute to keeping patients healthy. The doctors also spoke about other projects they are involved in outside of the practice in order to gain more knowledge and experience that can be used to continually improve their service. They also highlighted some of the challenges they face.
Residents had the opportunity to ask questions and the main area of concern was around the current appointment booking system, and the difficulty that residents feel they experience in getting a same day appointment.
Dr Stanford reassured residents that if they are not able to offer a same day appointment, then the patient can speak to a triage nurse who will assess the situation and offer advice.
Clive Wright, Chief Executive of Shropshire Council, spoke about its current financial position, council priorities, and how it intends to make the best use of limited resources. He said that the council is changing how it works to become a commissioner rather than direct deliverer of services.
One member of the audience was keen to know how Shropshire Council will maintain quality when it commissions services out.
Clive Wright said that customer feedback will be more important than ever, as well as continual monitoring. If the service provider does not meet the standards then the council will quickly switch to one that does.
During public question time a number of issues were raised regarding on-street parking and enforcement, and it was agreed to invite officers from Shropshire Council’s highways team to the next meeting.
Chairman of the LJC David Turner, Shropshire Councillor for Much Wenlock, said:
“It was really encouraging to see so many people turn out on a cold night to talk about topical issues. I was pleased that folk asked so many searching questions and that our speakers were willing to answer them so openly.”
The council’s business plan can be found at shropshire.gov.uk/shropshire-council/shropshire-council-business-plan-and-financial-strategy-2014-17.
For more information about Local Joint Committees, visit Shropshire Council’s website at shropshire.gov.uk.
For further information on the committee, call Kerry Rogers, community enablement officer (south), on 07990 085206.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been issuing peoples experiences about their Dry January Challenge. Today Clive Wright, Chief Executive of Shropshire Council, gives us an update about his experiences.
So we’re now in the last week of Dry January and the end is near. I had a horrible moment when I thought that by mistake I’d taken alcoholic mulled wine rather than the non-alcoholic. It turned out that I had picked the right one. I don’t know what would have been worse, an inadvertent failure on Dry January or the fact that my kids were drinking it as well!!!!!
Clive Wright, Chief Executive
National Libraries Day takes place on Saturday 7 February 2015. It’s an occasion to celebrate all that libraries do in the community, and for communities to show how much libraries mean to them.
There are lots of things happening. Shropshire Council is inviting people to come and discover what their library can do for them, discuss their favourite literature, be entertained by a stand-up poet, put together a communal jigsaw or take out a mystery book recommended by library staff. Most events have tea and cake.
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, said:
“Libraries play a big part in the well-being of our communities every day, but this special day gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate this wonderful resource at the heart of Shropshire life.”
There are a number of events on and around the day.
- Market Drayton Library is holding a drop-in Discover your Library on Wednesday 4 February between 10am and 1pm to promote all the services they provide
- On National Libraries Day itself (Saturday 7 February), Whitchurch Library invites families to come along and join in with fun and games between 10am and 11am
- Oswestry Library is holding an afternoon salon on Saturday 7 February at 3pm with the winner of the Guardian Short Story competition Lisa Blower.
- Also on Saturday 7 February, favourite literature will be discussed and tea and cake consumed, and in the evening at 7.30pm as Shrewsbury Library plays host to Jonny Fluffypunk, a hugely entertaining performance poet.
For more information, contact Mirka Duxberry or Sheena Batey (commissioning managers for reading and learning) on 01743 255031 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shropshire libraries have a twitter account too, so followers can use #NLD to say what libraries mean to them.
Next week’s Severn Loop Local Forum will receive a status report on the University Centre Shrewsbury, and an update on work to look at options for a new swimming pool for Shrewsbury.
Everyone is invited to attend the meeting, which will be held from 7pm, on Wednesday 4 February at The Guildhall.
Forum Chairman, Councillor Andrew Bannerman, says:
“We have some really important issues effecting the Severn Loop area and we really need local people to come along to the meeting to have their say.
“The University is of great interest to many people and this is a chance for people to come along and hear about the current status of this work.
“We will also have an update on the work to look at options for swimming provision in the town”
“We urge any local resident to come along to find out more.”
For more information please contact Tom Brettell, Senior Community Enablement Officer at Shropshire Council on 01743 252 482 or 07990 085 318.
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