I continue to circulate Monthly updates to the Clerk for all members in the Division on County Council Matters of interest.
Budget: Dorset County Council met today 15 February to set the council’s budget and share of council tax for the next financial year. At the meeting of the full council, members agreed to increase council tax by 5.99 per cent to help deal with inflation and bridge the funding gap in adult social care. Council tax for 2018/19 They agreed to raise council tax by 2.99 per cent, plus a further 3 per cent to fund adult social care – which is in line with the Government’s 6 per cent levy (over a total three-year period). The increase in the county council’s share of council tax means a Band D household will pay £79.47 more a year, or £1.53 a week. The 3 per cent social care precept will raise an additional £6.6m this year for the council to invest in adult social care.
Health: Dorset County Council and the local NHS are working together to extend the community support available to people within their own areas. In Dorset, we have a high number of older people, people with a disability, isolated and lonely and some who just need support for a short period. There are good support services provided by a number of organisations, including the Partnership for Older People Programme (POPP) which over the last 11 years, has built up a wealth of local knowledge. A county-wide review has been undertaken of non-clinical health coaching (My Health My Way), social prescription and community development and voluntary sector navigation. This has identified that there are some geographical variations across all of these services and people don’t always know how to access them at time of need. A group has been set up to look at best practice elsewhere in England, to find out what works well and what gaps there might be. We want to make sure that support is available in the right time at the right place; make it easier for professionals to identify and refer people; make sure support is regularly available from primary care and encourage the development of self-help widely across Dorset. This will help us to support people to live a good and independent life in their own home and communities and help them make informed choices about their support needs. Through the Sustainability and Transformation Plan, Dorset County Council and health colleagues want to build on the invaluable work done by POPP but are looking at working much more in local places, making sure we join up what is already happening. In practice this means our: Community development workers will be aligned to the developing GP locality health and well-being boards and the work we do in libraries and other local well-being points. Care navigators will work more closely with the social work teams in localities across the county and complement the social prescription approach being developed by the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and the work of public health focus on health and well-being. This means that the Partnership for Older People’s Programme (POPP) will come to an end and the current service contract with Help and Care will cease at end of September. Help and Care will be working with us to ensure this transition is carried out smoothly.