Have your say on future of Rutland County Council’s services

Rutland County Council offices in Oakham
Rutland County Council offices in Oakham

Residents in Rutland will be able to have their say on the future of people’s services in the county during two-month consultation.

Rutland County Council is set to launch People First, a project focussed on making sure that important services are delivered in the “best way possible” to those that need them most.

Photo:SM200312-041ow'Leader of Rutland County Council Roger Begy at Oakham Castle. ENGEMN00120120310110657

Photo:SM200312-041ow'Leader of Rutland County Council Roger Begy at Oakham Castle. ENGEMN00120120310110657

The cost of providing some of the people based services is expected increase by £2m in the next few years, with housing developments and a census which shows a predicted 70 per cent increase in the over 65 age group by 2030.

People-specific services, which could change in the way they are delivered, include child protection, public health, foster care and adoption, school improvements and admissions, and adult mental health.

The council is now preparing a list of proposals, which will be made publicly available before the consultation launches on April 28.

Rutland County Council leader Roger Begy (Con) said: “We have taken a careful approach to our budget in recent years and have done everything we can to protect frontline services for those who rely on them.

“This remains the case but an important part of that challenge is to take stock of what we currently do and see if we can improve our services or the way we deliver them.”

The overall council budget is £30.4m for 2014/15 and £13.8m of this will be spent on people-specific areas.

Coun Begy added: “We need to be 100 per cent confident we are getting the best value for money and still providing services in the way that our community can get the maximum benefit.”

Rutland county councillor Lucy Stephenson (Con), who is the portfolio holder for adult social care, stressed the importance of people having their say about the future of council services as part of the project.

She said: “We don’t have an open cheque-book and unlimited resources at our disposal, so need to find the best way to make the most of the money we do have available. That’s why People First is so important.

“We have to look at new ways of working to protect the long-term future of some of the most important services that this council provides.”

The consultation will last for seven weeks until June 13 and will give the community and stakeholders a chance to put their views and opinions forward.

It will include public drop-in events, a public meeting and questionnaire. Dates and locations are set to be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information about People First, visit www.rutland.gov.uk/peoplefirst, e-mail enquiries@rutland.gov.uk or call 01572 722 577.