20.02.23 – Spending Plan in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Uninjured Falls Patients Initiative, Staffordshire Commissioners Public Meeting
Written by Hitmix Local News on 19 February 2023
Budget proposals promising investment in key areas, while keeping a council tax increase to a minimum, have been approved in Newcastle under Lyme.
The Borough Council has agreed its spending plans for 2023/24, resulting in most households only paying up to 8p a week extra for local services.
Investment will continue in Newcastle and Kidsgrove town centres, improving environmental sustainability and easier access to public services.
Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “Councils have been affected in the same way as everyone else by inflation and rising heating, fuel and energy costs, so we have worked hard to balance a budget which provides investment for the future and meets residents’ needs now, while keeping costs as low as possible.
“The majority of our households will only be asked for between 5p and 8p a week extra for Borough Council services, while Band H homes will pay 16p a week more…………………….
“In return we will focus on delivering significant investment in our town centres and the services that make a difference to residents’ daily lives, such as recycling, community safety and tackling homelessness.”
Approving a Council Tax increase of 1.99 per cent, the same amount as last year, the Full Council heard that the authority has already cleared a forecast £2.1 million shortfall to balance its budget.
Actions included using grants from Central Government, making savings from the move towards digital provision of services, better housekeeping and an increase from Council Tax and Business Rates as more homes are built and businesses open and expand.
Stephen Sweeney, Deputy Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and Cabinet member for Finance, Town Centres and Growth, said: “We understand that many residents are working hard to make ends meet at the moment and we have done all we can this winter to help them.
“We are keeping our costs as low as possible while spending as much as we can on the things that matter to residents, as well as freezing car parking charges and making our town centres attractive to all.”
Band D properties will pay £214.42, an increase of £4.18 on the previous year, or 8p a week.
Council tax may be reduced in certain circumstances, including if people live alone, live with a disability in an adapted home, or an adult resident is severely mentally impaired. Those with a retirement pension, or some savings, may still be eligible for support. More information is at www.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk/counciltax
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the NHS are working together on a new initiative to respond to uninjured falls patients across the county.
West Midlands Ambulance Service receive the calls via 999 and NHS 111 and provide the initial clinical triage, to ensure patients are provided with the most appropriate care for their needs.
The new Falls Response Team can be tasked to respond to non-injury falls where patients may need to be helped to their feet or a chair, and checked to ensure they’re safe and well.
The team have received bespoke training, use specialist equipment and look to resolve any immediate problems that might have caused the fall.
If you are interested in how the Police and the fire service are performing ……… The Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams, will be holding a public meeting, tomorrow, to show how his office monitors the performance of Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service, to hold them to account on behalf of the public ….. that’s at 2pm tomorrow and it will be screened live, and you can find more information on the Staffordshire Commissioners website.
During the meeting, which will be broadcast live at 2pm, he will present an update on topics including:
How he monitors the performance of both Services and holds them to account
- His scrutiny of Staffordshire Police’s performance following the recent re-inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)
- The Home Office proposed early warning system to help identify and address issues within Police forces to help drive improvement
- The vital work the Commissioner’s Office undertakes on complaint reviews and appeals to ensure they are dealt with effectively, reasonably and proportionately
The panel regularly meets to give their views on the Staffordshire Commissioner’s plans and decisions, and is an important part of the Office’s commitment to being open and transparent.
Staffordshire Commissioner Ben Adams said: “As Commissioner, my role is to hold Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service to account on behalf of the public.
“This panel meeting is an opportunity for the public to hear how Staffordshire Police handle complaints, the work my office undertakes when people appeal these complaint decisions, and how my office monitors the performance of both Services.
“Both Services have recently had HMICFRS inspections and thanks to my regular performance meetings with both the Chief Constable and the Chief Fire Officer, I was fully aware of the inspectors’ findings. I am reassured that we had already identified the same areas of improvement through these meetings and that work was already underway across both Services to address them.
“In December 2021, I recruited a new Chief Constable, Chris Noble, from another force where he was part of a team that brought about rapid improvement, to help accelerate change. This was reflected in the recent re-inspection in December 2022, which found the force’s efforts to improve the service are moving in the right direction across many areas.
“However, there is still more to do which is why the force remain in the engage phase. I will continue to closely monitor their performance to ensure this momentum is maintained, and hold them to account on behalf of our communities.”
People can follow the panel meeting live wherever they are via the web, and it will also be available to view online afterwards.
To find out more, and to view the meeting, visit: Police, Fire and Crime Panel – Staffordshire Commissioner (staffordshire-pfcc.gov.uk)
For more details and contact information including a link to the Staffordshire Commissioners Public Meeting go to the Hitmix website and search local news