Have your say on public services re-think

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Jun 13th

This consultation has now closed

Have your say on public services re-think

Come and tell us what you think – that’s the message from Gloucestershire County Council as it launches a second major consultation on the future of public services.

Today (Monday 9th June), people across Gloucestershire are being invited to give their views on a significant change in direction for the council.

Social care – support for vulnerable adults and children - is the council’s biggest job and accounts for almost two thirds of the annual budget.

Unlike most other councils in England, Gloucestershire has consistently protected spending on social care while cutting back in other areas to make ends meet.

But now, with health services improving and people living longer with complex needs, the council is having to help more people than ever.
With the number of over 65s in the county increasing by 3.5% a year on average in Gloucestershire, there could be as many as 40% more new customers every decade and that is not affordable.

We also want to move away from a one size fits all approach and help more people to live fulfilled independent lives in their own communities.

Working with its partners, the council is looking at a fundamental re-think of how support is delivered to individuals, families and communities.

It is looking at a four-stage approach to support:

Supporting active individuals:

intervention and support to help people make the right life choices, like being fit and healthy. Providing support for people to do more for themselves and their families in their own communities.

Supporting active communities:

communities offering support closer to home. Valuing community capacity and building on existing support to signpost people to what they need within their own local area.

Getting people back to independence:

investing in providing intensive help to enable families to recover from a crisis or managing long term conditions. That way people can get back to normal as soon as possible without the need for long term care or support.

There when we’re needed most:

working with our partners to provide specialist support for those who really need our help. We will target our resources on people and families with the most complex needs and ensure that the right decisions are made for the long term.

Back in 2010, the council launched Meeting the Challenge and it is on track to make £114million of savings, reduced its staff by 2,500, including 25% less managers, reduced its debt by £30million and has 82 less buildings.

Today, the council is launching its next big conversation, Meeting the Challenge – Together we can, to explain to the public what the new direction could look like and to find out what people think.

The council is looking to make savings of around £75million over the next three years

People will have eight weeks, until Monday 4th August, to tell us what they think and they can do that in person at one of the public roadshows or online.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We want to find a way to do things differently so that we can avoid making cuts wherever we can.

“What we’re looking at is a fundamental change in our approach to supporting people so we can help them be more independent, and to lead fulfilled lives within their own homes and communities.

“We’ve already started a lot of the groundwork through Meeting the Challenge but now we need to move onto the next stage.

“I’d encourage everyone to visit our website or come along to one of our roadshows and tell us what they think.”

To help people understand the new direction, the council is developing a series of animations which show the story of various characters and how the services they receive could change.

Jack’s story talks about 74-year-old Jack who develops dementia and Sarah and Bob’s story explains how an unplanned teenage pregnancy and an angry young boy could be supported in future.