14.08.23 – new political map for county council, help shape support for carers in Staffordshire,
Written by Hitmix Local News on 11 August 2023
People in Staffordshire are being invited to have their say on proposals for new boundaries for council divisions in the county.
The Local Government Boundary Commission (LGBC) is the independent body that draws boundaries and divisions for councils. It is reviewing Staffordshire to make sure councillors will represent about the same number of electors, and that division arrangements will help the council work effectively.
The Commission is proposing that there should continue to be 62 divisions, with one councillor per division. It now wants to hear what residents and local organisations think about the proposals. A 10-week consultation will run until 16 October 2023.
Alan White, Leader at Staffordshire County Council said: “It’s really important that we have a fair and effective democratic process in Staffordshire that gives all our communities a say in how the council is run.
“The proposals will help make sure we have a fair and equal process when it comes to local council elections while helping us maintain community identity for years to come. All county councillors have been involved in the process and we continue to work closely with our district and borough colleagues. It’s vital that we get these proposals right and I would urge both residents and organisations to have their say.”
Launching the consultation, Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said: “We want people in Staffordshire to help us. We have drawn up proposals for new divisions in Staffordshire. We want to make sure these new electoral arrangements reflect communities. We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.
“Residents and local organisations can help us do that. We would like them to let us know whether they agree with our proposals before we take final decisions. It’s easy to get involved. Go to our website. Or you can e-mail or write to us.
“Just tell us what you think and give us some details why you think that. It’s really simple, so do get involved”.
Further details on the proposals, an interactive map showing the new divisions, and how to have your say are available here. Any changes will be implemented in 2025.
Thousands of people across the county support a loved one or friend with their day-to-day care and support needs. People in Staffordshire are being invited to have their say on how unpaid carers should be supported in the county.
Many carers get that help from their family, friends, or community networks, while others may need extra help and turn to the county council or the NHS and the organisations they commission.
The county council and Integrated Care Board are currently developing a five-year plan on how carers will be supported, and feedback from the survey will be used to help shape the plans. It aims to provide an understanding of how carers can be best supported and what services they may require to continue being a carer, whilst staying healthy and happy.
Young carers aged under 18 can also get involved through young carers groups run by the Staffordshire Together for Carers Service. Young carers who aren’t already a member of a young carers group can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 03003030621.
Julia Jessel, Cabinet Member for Health and Care at Staffordshire County Council said: “Informal carers do a wonderful job in providing care for loved ones or even friends and neighbours and are a vital part of the care sector.
“Making sure this army of carers are supported and they know about and can access the support they need to care every day is incredibly important. Being happy and healthy is so important for carers, along with being able to lead more independent lives outside of caring. It’s also important that in more crisis situations, carers have somewhere and someone to turn to for help.
“Understanding the needs of carers is a priority for the county council, so whether you help someone with continuous care or on a less regular basis, you can help shape our plans. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and together we’ll make sure we have the right support in place.”
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council said: “We have lots of young carers out there helping to look after parents and relatives and it’s vital we support them as they face their own unique challenges.
“We already provide a range of support through the Staffordshire Together for Carers Service but we’d like to find out what’s most important to them. I’d urge any young person who cares for someone to get in touch with the service and have their say through the young carers groups.”
The Staffordshire Carers Survey is available here and will take no more than fifteen minutes to complete. The deadline for submissions is Monday 18 September 2023.