Richard Clifton is a Conservative ward member for Oakham South West, having been elected once in October 2014 and then again in May.
Rutland County Council’s portfolio holder for health and adult social care, Coun Clifton oversees one of the authority’s most important service areas – ensuring local residents are able to lead healthy, independent lives, regardless of their age or circumstances.
“I’ve been involved with organisations that help people right throughout my professional career,” explained Coun Clifton.
“This started back in 1990 when I became chairman of volunteers for national children’s charity Endeavour and until very recently I was an executive director for the Shaw Trust.”
Coun Clifton still works part-time for Shaw Trust which helps him maintain an up-to-date knowledge of the volunteer sector, disability issues and welfare reforms.
Coun Clifton is a long-standing Rutland resident who has lived in Oakham for most of his life.
His work for organisations such as the Youth Training Service and East Midland Training Partnership has had a direct impact on people throughout the region, as well as those closer to home.
“Working in training and welfare has always been incredibly rewarding,” said Coun Clifton.
“I’ve had the opportunity to run youth and job clubs here in Oakham and still bump into people I first met as trainees, who have since gone on to find work and are even running their own businesses.”
Coun Clifton is himself a local business owner, having followed in his parents’ footsteps by opening a tearoom in Oakham.
“I’ve spent a lot of time travelling with work – commuting to and from London – and always knew that I eventually wanted to run my own business here in Rutland.
“My parents had a teashop and bed and breakfast on the High Street until they retired in 2003 and, having helped to run the business when I was younger, I decided to follow suit.
“I opened my own tearoom on Mill Street last year and, while it’s been hard work, it’s great to be part of Oakham’s local business community and have that grounding here in the county.”
A large proportion of Rutland County Council’s annual budget is spent on health and adult social care, which includes public health, caring for adults who need support and looking after those with special educational needs or disabilities.
“The number of people needing care and support in Rutland has been growing steadily over time and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” explained Coun Clifton.
“At the same time, we are receiving less and less funding from central government so must find new and more innovative ways to meet people’s needs.
“Ultimately, we want everyone to have the opportunity to maintain the best possible health and well-being throughout their lives and make sure they can access support and information they need to stay independent for as long as they want.”
For more information about health and adult social care in Rutland or to find out how to get in touch with your local councillor, please visit: www.rutland.gov.uk