News

June 2024

Newsletter 07/06/2024

7 June 2024

Planning

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Traffic Regulation Order Consultation – Turners Hill Road

West Sussex County Council proposes to make a permanent Traffic Regulation Order that will introduce a 30 MPH speed limit on Turners Hill Road (B2110) in East Grinstead, from its junction with Hurst Farm Road, south-westwards for 280 metres.

Below is a link to the TRO Team’s consultation web page, containing plans showing the new restriction, the public notice, statement of reasons for proposing the Order, and the draft Order itself.  I should be grateful if you could accept this message as the formal consultation on the proposed new Order.  If you wish to make any comments or objections to the scheme, please make them to me by e-mail before 27 June 2024.  E-mail: martin.moore@westsussex.gov.uk

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/traffic-regulation-orders/

Gatcom

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Improving services for children & young people with special educational needs & disabilities (SEND)

West Sussex Local Area SEND Partnership has set out how it will continue to develop vital services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in West Sussex with the publication of a new improvement plan.
The SEND Improvement Plan has been developed by West Sussex County Council, working in partnership with NHS Sussex as the West Sussex Local Area SEND Partnership.
West Sussex County Council and NHS Sussex are responsible for delivering, planning, and commissioning services for children and young people with SEND. Following the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspection, which gave West Sussex Local Area SEND Partnership the middle rating for delivery, planning and commissioning of SEND services, a detailed improvement plan is being implemented to make improvements to ensure all young people with SEND receive the right help and support so that they enjoy positive experiences and outcomes.
The plan focuses on six areas for continued improvement. These are:
• Mainstream and universal provision
• Statutory or specialist support
• Leadership and governance
• Alternative Provision
• Support to prepare for adulthood
• Co-production and communication
The plan details the aim and improvement focus for each area and provides a framework for measuring success.
Councillor Jacquie Russell, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Learning and Skills said: “The SEND Improvement Plan is key to ensuring that we are delivering the best services possible and demonstrates our commitment to improving outcomes for children with SEND in West Sussex.
“Working in partnership with colleagues at NHS Sussex, we have developed a plan that seeks to address the need for improvement highlighted in the latest Ofsted inspection, helping ensure that all children and young people in West Sussex have access to services that can help them fulfil their potential.”
Dr Amy Dissanayake, Interim Chief Medical Officer at NHS Sussex said:
“We are committed to taking swift action to make sure children and young people with SEND receive the right help and support, when they need it. Our joint improvement plan sets out how we will do this with our colleagues at West Sussex County Council and the timescales we have committed to.
“We recognise the challenges many families face in relation to waiting times for some services, with continually increasing levels of need. As a priority, we are working with health and care partners across Sussex to improve the information and support provided while families are waiting for a service, including when transitioning from youth to adult support.
“We will involve children, young people and their families in this work, to ensure that improvements meet children and young people’s special educational needs now and in the future.” You can read the SEND Improvement Plan in full here: SEND improvement plan – West Sussex County Council  For further information please contact the news desk on 0330 222 8090 or email pressoffice@westsussex.gov.uk.  For urgent out-of-hours enquiries please call 07767 098415.

Unpaid carers praised and encouraged to make the most of free local support

People who provide vital care for family or friends in West Sussex are being encouraged to make the most of free local support.

Speaking at the start of Carers Week, which takes place from 10 – 16 June, Councillor Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services, said: “Unpaid carers play a key role in keeping vulnerable people safe and well, often in challenging personal circumstances.

“The difference a family or friend carer has on the person they are looking after is huge, but this can create an impact on the carers themselves, whether financial, employment related or on their own health and wellbeing.

“That is why it is crucial that people recognise their caring role and know where to go to access help and advice should they need it.”

Anyone who provides unpaid care for a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without support, can be classed as a family or friend carer. This is across all ages, from children to adults.

If this applies to you, then you could be eligible for free support from Carers Support West Sussex, a local charity commissioned by West Sussex County Council to offer services for unpaid carers across the county. It offers information and guidance to family and friend carers, along with practical and emotional support. Carers can visit the Carers Support West Sussex website where they can use the handy Carers Smart Search tool to find information and services relevant to them.

Caroline Pope, CEO at Carers Support West Sussex said: “We understand that carers often struggle to find time for themselves and may not be able to contact services for information such as understanding carer benefits, or where to get a break from their caring role.

“To give carers the freedom to find this information at any time of day or night, we developed an online search tool on our website, called Carers Smart Search. This tool makes researching carer related information easy and relevant and the findings can even be emailed to the carer for future reference. We hope that this simple tool will make it a little easier for carers to find the information they need.”

West Sussex County Council recently announced a new five-year contract with Carers Support West Sussex (CSWS), to provide help and support to carers in West Sussex. CSWS has expertise and specialist knowledge in supporting unpaid carers and strives to ensure carers are seen, heard, and valued.

Practical and emotional support to young carers under the age of 18 is also available and is provided by the county council’s West Sussex Young Carers Service: Young carers – West Sussex County Council

Carers Week is a UK-wide awareness campaign seeking to increase visibility for carers with decision makers, services, employers, communities, and businesses. This year’s theme is ‘Putting Carers on the Map’

NALC News

Chief executive’s bulletin

Star Council Awards are back for 2024!

I’m thrilled about the return of our Star Council Awards! These awards recognise the positive impact of the local (parish and town) council sector on communities across England. We want the awards to be even bigger and better than before. And we want more nominations to provide even more opportunities for all councils, councillors, county associations and clerks to shine. Your participation is crucial in raising the awards’ profile and helps us lobby the government for the changes we want. Entrants can apply for six award categories: Council of the Year, Councillor of the Year, Young Councillor of the Year, County Association of the Year, Clerk of the Year, and Climate Response of the Year. This year, we’ve introduced a new award dedicated to climate response. This award will recognise the proactive efforts of councils in addressing climate change, emphasising the importance of their role in mitigating impacts, adapting to new conditions, and building resilience for both people and nature. By highlighting successful long-term strategies and community engagement, it aims to inspire other councils to take similar actions for a sustainable future. These categories recognise excellence in different areas of local council operations and highlight the varied contributions made by councils. The nomination period ends on 6 September 2024. Once again, we’ll announce the winners at our parliamentary reception in the House of Lords. I also want to thank our award sponsors, Clear Councils Insurance, Blachere Illumination, CCLA, Cloudy IT and Facilitating the Future, whose support is invaluable in making these awards possible.

NALC visits Yate Town Council for its annual study tour

Our annual study tour embarked on Yate Town Council in Avon this year. The council did a fantastic job hosting the study tour, which was held between 21 and 22 May 2024. Attendees travelled to the council (with powerful links to Banksy, JK Rowling and Paul Weller!) to learn about the council’s pivotal role and brilliant work in shaping local governance and youth provision. On day 1, everyone went on a minibus tour to the Armadillo Youth CaféKingsgate ParkPeg Hill Skate Park, and the outstanding Yate Outdoor Sports Complex and had a look inside the council’s famous URBIE van (which travels to all areas of Yate and provides direct youth support where it is needed most). Later, attendees networked with current and past Yate town councillors over an evening meal and heard short speeches from Cllr Ben Nutland, mayor of Yate Town Council and Cllr Mike Drew, vice-chair of the NALC’s Larger Councils Committee. On day 2, attendees heard some excellent presentations from all partner organisations involved in youth provision in Yate, including the council, South Gloucestershire District Council, the Armadillo and Learning Partnership West. Thanks to Yate Town Council for being a beacon for youth service provision in the sector and a superb host!

On the blog: Yate Town Council

Keeping with the theme of the study tour, this week’s blog comes from our study tour host, Yate Town Council. The study tour allowed the council to share best practices in youth engagement, showcase its achievements and gain new insights from visiting attendees. The council reflects on sometimes not having time to consider “what have we done well?” and the study tour gave them a moment to do just that. They strongly encouraged other local councils to participate in enriching study tours to benefit their communities, whether hosting or attending. You can read the entire blog on our website.

White Ribbon Steering Group

Our White Ribbon Steering Group met on 28 May 2024 to discuss White Ribbon UK’s recent #ChangeTheStory webinar for accredited organisations, the group’s membership, and year two priorities. The #ChangeTheStory webinar advised organisations to prioritise violence against women and girls, establish domestic abuse policies and review existing policies. The webinar also highlighted the characteristics of effective male allies. Our communications officer, Daisy Petrow, wrote a blog about White Ribbon’s relevance to local councils, which includes some great insights. The group discussed expanding membership to achieve broader geographical representation and involve more councillors. Updates were provided on the action plan, particularly on year two priorities, such as NALC staff training, a toolkit, and a webinar. The next meeting is likely to be in early September.

Improvement and Development Board 

The Improvement and Development Board (IDB), whose membership includes NALC, the Society of Local Council Clerks and the Local Government Association (LGA), met on 23 May 2023 to discuss its previous workshops, the data task force, the board membership and terms of reference, and the newly published The Good Councillor’s guide. After input from the LGA and De Montfort University about why data is so important and their experience of its value in local government, the board agreed to set up a data task force. The board previously agreed to set up three other task forces: civility and respect, intervention, and workforce. These task forces will look into these important areas of improvement and development in more detail and make recommendations to the board. The board also decided to increase membership, and I’m delighted the chief executives of the Association of Democratic Officers and Lawyers in Local Government have both agreed to join.

The Good Councillor’s guide

The IDB also provides strategic oversight of initiatives and resources such as NALC’s Good Councillor’s guides and was delighted about its launch. The guide is even more accessible; to read it, visit our website for a free digital version. This revised edition of the guide is a much-needed resource, providing essential guidance for new councillors and those thinking about becoming local councillors. When they join a council, new councillors have much to take in, and the guide can help them understand this. The IDB and I are delighted that the guide has amassed nearly 3,000 downloads in its first two weeks, so grab your free copy today!

Fortnightly county officers call

The general election was the main topic at this week’s meeting between NALC and county officers. There was a discussion about how county associations can work with MPs, especially new ones, after the election itself, and county officers had a chance to ask questions about the pre-election period. The meeting also covered the proposed sessions for the county officer development programme and a recent issue where a district council sought to charge a council for a standards investigation.

Updates to Legal Topic Notes 22 and 23

This week, we reissued Legal Topic Notes (LTN) on disciplinary and grievance arrangements in local councils (LTN 22) and health and safety (LTN 23). The new versions have updated and refreshed the content, and the notes contain links to practical expert guidance. You can find both LTNs on our website in the LTN section within the member’s area.

10 years of Queen’s Park Community Council 

It was fantastic to see Queen’s Park Community Council (QPCC) mark its 10th anniversary at the weekend. Our head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, joined the celebrations on 26 May 2024 of what is London’s first and currently only local council and the first of its type in nearly 80 years! NALC lobbied successfully in the mid-2000s to change the law to allow local councils to be created in London. Not long after the new rules took effect, QPCC’s story began in 2011 when residents started a campaign to establish a community council, submitting a petition to Westminster City Council, which then launched a community governance review to consult the community. Residents backed the move, prompting the city council to hold a referendum in 2012, with 70% of residents voting yes. The first election was held in 2014, and QPCC was officially established. I’m really pleased that NALC has helped QPCC at every step of its remarkable journey, and it was fitting we could join their celebrations, where many of the speakers remarked on our longstanding support. You can read more about QPCC’s history and remarkable journey on its website.

Houghton Regis Town Council Corporate Peer Challenge

A few months ago, between 26 and 28 March 2024, our senior solicitor and legal services manager, Jane Moore, was in Houghton Regis Town Council in Bedfordshire as part of the council’s Corporate Peer Challenge delivered by LGA and NALC. Last Friday, the council received its feedback report, which includes recommendations such as setting formal annual committee and staff objectives to progress corporate plans (including setting measurable annual targets), feedback and next steps. The panel also included Cllr Ian Davis, chair of Newton and Biggin Parish Council and vice-chair of the Warwickshire Association of Local Councils, Shar Roselman, town clerk for Newport Pagnell Town Council, and representatives from the Local Government Association. The Corporate Peer Challenge provides robust, strategic, and credible challenges and support to councils, bringing together political and managerial leadership through member and officer peers.

Proposed locations of new Electric Vehicle chargepoints

Residents are being asked for their views on the proposed locations of several new electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints in Crawley, Horsham, and Mid Sussex.

The proposed locations of the new roadside chargepoints have been selected because either a member of the public has made a request, or the location has been identified as an area with limited off-road parking and a lack of nearby public chargepoints.

Residents who live in the proposed roads have received a letter explaining the proposals and giving details of a four-week consultation which runs until Friday 21 June.

Cllr Joy Dennis, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “We know in the coming years more and more people will be making the move towards electric vehicles. So, it’s important to act now to ensure we’re able to support our residents with charging facilities, particularly in areas where people need to park in the street.

“Residents without electric vehicles will still be able to park as normal as there will be no changes to parking restrictions initially. Any possible changes to this approach in the future will go through a further consultation process.”

The proposals form part of the latest round of installations from the West Sussex Chargepoint Network, a partnership between West Sussex County Council, its district and borough partners in Adur, Arun, Chichester, Crawley, Horsham, Mid Sussex, and Worthing, and Connected Kerb.

So far 215 chargepoints have been installed across West Sussex on the roadside and in district and borough car parks, with many more planned in the coming years.

Residents can have their say on the locations by visiting https://yourvoice.westsussex.gov.uk/ev-chargepoints

If people are unable to complete the survey online, they can call 0330 222 7770.

To view the proposed locations, or suggest a location for future proposed chargepoints, please visit www.connectedkerb.com/westsussexresidents

Proposed locations of chargepoints in Chichester, Arun, Adur, and Worthing will be released in the coming months.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner News

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner News

Modality Mid Sussex News

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