County council listens to consultation responses

Worcestershire County Council has listened to responses to its Future Lives consultation and made changes to the proposals as a result.
Councillor Sheila Blagg, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, was given delegated powers to determine the outcome of the consultation on 12 February 2014 in consultation with fellow Cabinet members Cllr Marcus Hart (health and well-being) and Cllr Liz Eyre (children and families). Cllr Blagg decided to further consider the proposals for re-commissioning of prevention, early help and other support services and then put a full set of recommendations to the 6 March 2014 Cabinet meeting for a final decision to be made.
Additional funds have been identified to support an extended transition and re commissioning process and Cabinet will be asked to agree the extension in recognition of concerns raised about the pace of change. An additional £1million funding has been identified from the Adult Social Care & Health reserves with a further £ 2million being proposed from funding identified through a collection fund surplus. Cabinet will be asked to agree the funds from Council reserves to fund the extension of some contracts.
Councillor Sheila Blagg, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: "We have listened to all of the many responses received during the consultation and one of the major concerns raised was the fast pace of change so we are asking Cabinet to agree to extend this period. When we went to consultation, we didn't know that we would be collecting a surplus of £2million worth of Council Tax payments from district councils and we are asking Cabinet if this money can be used to ease the transition for these prevention, early help and other support services.
"We would use this extended period to hold further discussions with partners and providers about what funding they might be able to contribute and how we can get the most out of the investment in the longer term.
"We also felt it was important for Cabinet to make the final decision in public as another common theme during the consultation was that people didn't think just one Cabinet member should be making such an important decision so again we have listened and it will be going to Cabinet on 6 March 2014".
Cllr Marcus Hart, Cabinet Member for Health and Well-being added: "Health and well-being is one of our corporate priorities and through the Future Lives programme we will help and support people to live independent lives for as long as possible. One part of this programme is investing information and advice to help people keep healthy and find the right services."
Cllr Liz Eyre, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: "We have had an excellent number and quality of responses over the two months of consultation. I have been able to meet with a large number of providers. This transition period gives us the right amount of time to work with providers and partners to ensure we provide sufficient and appropriate services. It also gives us an opportunity to ensure the right pathway for young people who need support and the right outcomes.