19.09.23 – Staffordshire Climate Change Proposals, New Bentilee Family Hubb
Written by Hitmix Local News on 19 September 2023
Councils in Staffordshire have shared their proposals to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The ’Staffordshire Adaptation Strategy’ sees councils across the county come together and commit to addressing the issues caused by climate change.
The plan focuses on four key areas, infrastructure and buildings, the natural environment, protecting residents, and the local economy.
In recent years, Staffordshire has seen an increase in extreme weather events, with 15 significant floods since 2000, nine storms since 2018, and a record-high temperature of 40 degrees last year.
These proposals acknowledge the importance of preparing for the impacts of climate change in the future and emphasises the need for adaptation planning across all council services.
The strategy has been developed as part of a joint effort by the Staffordshire Sustainability Board, made up of elected members from councils across the county.
Simon Tagg, the Chair of the Staffordshire Sustainability Board and Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change, said: “Adapting to the impacts of climate change is just as important as reducing our carbon emissions and striving for net-zero.
“Even if we cut our carbon emissions to zero overnight, the climate will continue to warm up and more extreme weather conditions will become commonplace. This means we need to start thinking widely and putting measures in place now that protect our communities, buildings, roads, environment, and economy.
“The Staffordshire Adaptation Strategy is an important first step in this process. Now, the task is to work together to better prepare ourselves to respond and adapt to the changing climate in the future.”
Adaption measures to mitigate climate change impacts are already taking place across the county, with oversized drainage systems being installed in Hamstall Ridware, to protect residents from flooding and the restoration of floodplains in Stafford to enable wildlife to thrive and reduce floods. Other projects include the Washlands Enhancement project in Burton that has upgraded the flood defences along the River Trent to balance flooding with public access and recreation alongside nature conservation.
The new Vice Chair of the Staffordshire Sustainability Board, Cllr Nigel Yates, Cabinet Member for Climate Change at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said: “Everyone knows about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, but we talk less about the changes we need to make in order to live safely with a changing climate.”
“This strategy is a really positive step in the right direction and lays the foundation for us to work together as a partnership to approach the changes we need to make in Staffordshire to protect our place and its people.”
The plan will be discussed at a meeting of Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet on 20th September. People can read the papers here.
Families in Stoke-on-Trent are benefitting from help and support from a range of city council, NHS and voluntary sector services, thanks to the continued rollout of Family Hubs in the city.
Bentilee Family Hub officially launches on 20 September at the former Treehouse Children’s Centre, Dawlish Drive, Bentilee as part of a project being delivered with over £3.5 million of Government funding.
Family Hubs offer bespoke advice and guidance to local communities, empowering families to enable them to thrive. In Bentilee, this includes not only support from city council, NHS and voluntary sector services but also through the city council’s unique partnership with Alpha Academies Trust.
Working with the network of academies (including The Discovery Academy and Maple Court Academy in Bentilee as well as other schools in the city) will provide educational support for children and young people in the local area.
Alongside supporting children’s educational attainment, wellbeing and life chances, the Family Hub will provide activities and groups for children and families as well as help with household budgeting, discounted food, pregnancy advice and support. Previously these services could be disjointed and hard to navigate but Family Hubs provide a single access point to support from a range of services.
Councillor Lynn Watkins, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I firmly believe that by engaging with parents and carers in the city in a positive and supportive way we can make a huge difference to the life chances of children across Stoke-on-Trent, so I’m thrilled to see a new Family Hub launching to support families across the city.
“Childhood experiences shape the rest of our lives but, in the current cost of living crisis, families may be struggling. Family Hubs can help to combat this in a joined-up way as we work with all of our partners in the education, NHS and voluntary sector to support families, children and young people who may need it.
“We want local families to feel a sense of ownership of our Family Hubs and to help shape and develop the offer. These are your local services so please come along, make use of everything that’s on offer and give us your feedback.”
Councillor Jane Ashworth, leader of the city council, said: “This is a prime example of the incredibly important work we’re delivering to bring in early intervention to better support the whole family when they first need support, not just at crisis point.
“We know that early intervention and support for families leads to far fewer children in care and that means that support services like the new Family Hub in Bentilee are really important, not only to families in the city, but in combatting longer-term financial difficulties in Stoke-on-Trent.
“If you find a problem, it’s always best to sort it early. Don’t wait for it to get worse. We want our priority to be helping families because children thrive best in their own homes where they are safe.”
Simon French, Chief Executive Officer/Executive Principal of Alpha Academies Trust, said: “Alpha Academies Trust are very excited to be part of the collaborative approach to the Bentilee Family Hub. It is a great opportunity to positively impact on the lives of the families within our community.
“The aim of the Family Hub is a co-ordinated approach between professionals and families that is both supportive and empowering. Families will be enabled to improve their own health, education and life chances with a range of activities, and opportunities offered through a core, outreach and digital service provision that has long-term sustainability.”