Warwickshire County Council – Plan 2025 – Engagement Questionnaire

Council Plan 2025 – Engagement questionnaire

As a county council we want Warwickshire to be the best it can be, sustainable now and for future generations. As we set out our plans for the next five years we want to understand what is important to our key stakeholders and all those who live, work or study in Warwickshire.

Over the next few weeks we will be seeking to understand people’s concerns, priorities and ambitions for Warwickshire. In particular, ideas to inform our climate action plan following the council’s declaration of a climate emergency. Your views are very important to us as part of this process.

You can share your thoughts with us in a number of ways:
• online by completing our short questionnaire which closes on 20 October. (Paper copies / alternative formats can be requested by email: askwarwickshire@warwickshire.gov.uk) or telephone: 01926 738838)
by coming along to talk to us at one of our roadshows (a regularly updated list of dates is available here)
• by emailing to us directly: askwarwickshire@warwickshire.gov.uk; or
• by writing to: Council Plan 2025 Engagement, Commissioning Support Unit, Resources Directorate, Warwickshire County Council, Shire Hall, Warwick CV34 4RL

If you have any queries or would like to discuss this further please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email (askwarwickshire@warwickshire.gov.uk) or by telephone (01926 738838).

New Website to Suggest Gadgets and Solutions to Make Life Easier for Warwickshire Residents

A new website has been launched in Warwickshire that shows people gadgets and solutions that can make life easier for them.

Called AskSARA (www.warwickshire.gov.uk/asksara), the easy-to-use website helps improve people’s access to a range of ‘self-help’ smart technology and associated services in Warwickshire – from automatic pill dispensers to reminder clocks, personal alarms and general equipment to help make daily activities easier – so they can stay well for longer.

Its been launched by Warwickshire County Council as part of their commitment, through the Warwickshire Cares Better Together programme, to give people better access to Assistive Technology and to help them focus on their strengths.

From cooking and bathing to taking medication, or doing hobbies and daily tasks, AskSARA provides information, advice and guidance on smart gadgets and solutions (Assistive Technology) that can enable people to help themselves.

The website signposts people to a whole range of gadgets and solutions based on their own personal needs and produces an individual report with suggested ideas, based on the answers to some simple, multiple-choice questions.

For example, if a person needs help remembering to take their medication, it might suggest an automatic pill dispenser or a digital reminder clock; or if someone needs help with staying hydrated or has mobility difficulties as a result of a health condition, AskSARA may suggest the use of a special ‘hand steady’ mug, a falls detector ‘watch’, or a personal alarm.

This could reduce their reliance on friends, family and professional carers, and help them to stay well in their own home.

Visit the AskSARA Warwickshire website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/asksara.

Living Well with Dementia in Warwickshire

September is World Alzheimer’s Month and an opportunity to raise awareness of dementia. As the number of people diagnosed with dementia increases, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) are helping residents to understand dementia, what to do if you have concerns about your memory and support available if you have been diagnosed with dementia.

Everybody forgets things from time to time and stress, anxiety, depression, certain physical illnesses, infections and vitamin and thyroid deficiencies are just a few of the things that can affect memory. However, if your memory is getting noticeably worse, or affecting everyday life, book an appointment with your GP as it may be a sign of dementia. Help, support and treatment as early as possible can help you to manage your symptoms.

Every resident of Warwickshire can make a difference to the lives of people living with dementia by helping to create a more Dementia Friendly Warwickshire.

As more people are diagnosed with dementia, it is likely that we will all be touched by dementia at some point in our lives. Dementia Friends learn more about dementia, and the small actions they can take to support those living with dementia. Visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk and find out how you can make a difference.

Become a Dementia Friend

Brain Tumour research – Walk of Hope – 28th September

We’re organising a charity event called the Walk of Hope on 28th September in Warwickshire, and would be delighted if you would include the poster and / or event information (at the bottom of this email) in one of your publications or on your website/social media.

The reason Brain Tumour Research needs your support is because brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more they kill more adults and children under the age of 40 than any other cancer… yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

We are building a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally and we are the only national charity in the UK that is dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours.

Here are a few stories from Brain Tumour Research patients and supporters who live in Warwickshire:

• Ben Lindon, who was training to become a firefighter in Warwickshire before his diagnosis: https://www.braintumourresearch.org/stories/in-hope/in-hope-stories/ben-lindon
• Richard Wheatley, who lives in Warwickshire and is fighting a brain tumour: https://www.braintumourresearch.org/stories/in-hope/in-hope-stories/richard-wheatley
• Alexander Paul, who was studying at Warwick University, when he sadly died from his brain tumour: https://www.braintumourresearch.org/stories/in-our-hearts/in-our-hearts-stories/alexander-paul

Key event information:

Our website link: https://www.braintumourresearch.org/fundraise/take-on-a-challenge/event/2019/09/28/take-on-the-challenge/hatton-locks-walk-of-hope-warwick

Our Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/476525946476520/

• 10am start
• Saturday 28th September
• Starting and ending at Hatton Locks
• £10 per adult or £30 per family of 4
• 9-mile route
• Each walker receives a Fighting Force medal and a Brain Tumour Research t-shirt
• Family friendly

Community Fundraising Manager – Midlands & Wales
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carrie.bater.14

Brain Tumour Research
Suite 3, Shenley Pavilions, Chalkdell Drive, Shenley Wood, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK5 6LB

Registered charity number 1153487 (England and Wales) SC046840 (Scotland). Company limited by guarantee number 08570737

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer… yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

Brain Tumour Research is determined to change this.

Help Shape the Future of Health and Care in Coventry and Warwickshire

The Government launched its NHS Long Term Plan in January 2019. This plan sets the agenda and priorities for health and care for the next ten years and shows how the NHS will spend additional funding over the next five years. The plan is built on all of the great work already underway, both nationally and locally, and is about making the NHS better so that it can make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our population.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership system priorities, as outlined in the Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Concordat, are focused on making sure we have:
• Healthy people
• Strong communities
• Effective services

At the same time, the challenges facing our local system must be acknowledged and addressed: people are living longer, which is great, but they’re not always living well.

The gap between life expectancy (the age you are likely to live to) and healthy life expectancy (the age you will be before you need regular health and care interventions) is large – up to 20 years in some parts of Coventry and Warwickshire, which puts a strain on the system.

As staff working in health and care in Coventry and Warwickshire, you know the Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership (CWHCP) system better than anyone else. Your feedback will be invaluable in helping to shape the delivery of the long term plan, so please take a moment to share your thoughts on what you think BCCW are doing well as a system, what you’d like to see improve and what you think the CWHCP priorities should be from your perspective.

Use the following link to have your say: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/cwhcp_staff_engagement

The survey will close on September 1, 2019. For more information about the survey, please contact info@bettercarecovwarks.org.uk

Drug Related Crime…….Are You Aware of County Lines?

Are you aware of County Lines?

As part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to tackle serious and violent crime, the Home Office has relaunched its County Lines awareness-raising campaign.

‘County Lines’ is a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to sell drugs.

These dealers will use dedicated mobile phone lines, known as ‘deal lines’, to take orders from drug users.

Heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine are the most common drugs being supplied and ordered.

In most instances, the users or customers will live in a different area to where the dealers and networks are based, so drug runners are needed to transport the drugs and collect payment.

A common feature in county lines drug supply is the exploitation of young and vulnerable people.

The dealers will frequently target children and adults – often with mental health or addiction problems – to act as drug runners or move cash so they can stay under the radar of law enforcement.

A series of promotional posters to support the government’s work to deal with county lines – where urban drug dealers expand their activity into small town markets – have been produced. You can find them here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/county-lines-protecting-vulnerable-people-from-exploitation

Mental Health Directory of Support Services Launched

The South Warwickshire Mental Health Partnership, made up of professionals from the third and public sectors, aims to improve awareness of mental health support services in South Warwickshire.

Each year, the Partnership holds an annual event to bring organisations together to collaborate better around mental health.

This year the event was on the theme of ‘What’s working well with mental health’ with presentations from Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, Springfield Mind, Together for Mental Wellbeing, and Alcester Town Council.

The event showcased the importance of the voluntary and community sector in providing early intervention services, peer support and creative partnerships with statutory agencies in order to prevent mental health crisis.

The important role of creativity, ecotherapy, laughter and healthy living was also emphasised.

Each year, at the annual event, the partnership launches an updated version of a Mental Health Directory of support services which cover the county.

The Directory contains information supplied by organisations, groups and agencies that provide services which support people affected by mental health issues.

It has proved to be an invaluable resource for organisations that signpost to mental health services.

You can access the Directory through the Warwickshire Voluntary and Community Action website at http://www.wcava.org.uk/directory-of-mental-health-provision.

In order to create a comprehensive directory, we have endeavoured to invite contributions from all relevant groups, so if you know of an organisation which you think should be included in the Directory, please contact Gill Jones on 01926 477512.

Visit the Mental Health Directory:-  http://www.wcava.org.uk/directory-of-mental-health-provision

Speeding – Shustoke Village

Residents regularly report to Councillors that a significant number of drivers fail to observe the 30 and 40mph speed limits through Shustoke.

The Police operate occasional speed checks and have prosecuted many irresponsible drivers, but an additional option is to form a Shustoke Community Speed Watch Team. Equipped with a radar speed device, the Team would report speeding drivers to the Police who then send them a written warning. With repeat offenders, or those driving well above the speed limit, a police officer would visit them. Details of offending drivers are retained by the Police and prevent such drivers being given the offer of a speed awareness course rather than a fixed penalty / court appearance + endorsement/disqualification.

If you are interested in volunteering for a few hours per week to support a Community Speed Watch, please contact the Parish Clerk via the website contact page.

Where residents note persistent instances with speeding commercial vehicles from specific companies, details can be provided to the Clerk who can advise the companies concerned, and if appropriate, the Traffic Commissioners.

WCC Cyber Scam Update – “Free Government Grants and Loans”

In this months edition we’re raising awareness of fraudsters targeting people with offers of ‘free’ or ‘low cost’ government grants and loans. Five stars or fake? How to beat online fraudulent reviews, what to do if you receive counterfeit notes or coins and where to report, as well as suspicious Netflix phishing scams that are making the rounds convincing users into clicking a malicious link and handing over their login details and payment information. Also including top tips on how to protect yourself from computer viruses and malware.

Fraudsters targeting people with offers of ‘free’ or ‘low cost’ government grants and loans.
Victims have reported being offered the loans on their doorstep, via telephone, and over social media.

Fraudsters target victims who currently receive government benefits, or are eligible for Universal Credit:
• The victim is contacted by a fraudster offering them a ‘free’ or ‘low cost’ Government loan or grant.
• The fraudster requests personal and financial information from the target and uses these details to apply for Universal Credit in the victim’s name, usually without informing the victim about it.
• The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) approves the eligible claim and transfers money to the victim’s account.
• The fraudster then requests that the victim transfer them a significant portion of the money as a ‘finder’s fee’.
• The victim receives a letter from DWP about their Universal Credit application and realises that they have been duped. The victim is then left to repay the total amount initially borrowed.
One victim was introduced to this scam by a friend on social media. The friend helped them receive the ‘free grant’ of over £1,000, only to later be asked to transfer £500 to the fraudster’s account as a ‘finder’s fee’. The victim only realised they had fallen victim to a scam after they received a letter from DWP requesting repayments for the loan.
Protection advice:
• Never share your personal or financial information with someone you don’t know and trust, especially if it’s in response to an offer of “free money” or a “free grant”.
• DWP will never approach you in the street or ask for your personal/financial details over social media.
• If you have concerns about your benefits, you should visit www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus
• If you suspect your identity may have been stolen, you can check your credit rating quickly and easily online. You should do this every few months anyway, using a reputable service provider and following up on any unexpected or suspicious results.
Read more

Council Tax Scam

Criminals targeting residents in council tax scam ‘barrage’

Criminals posing as council staff are targeting people across the country in a new wave of council tax scams offering bogus refunds or threatening fines. Fraudsters are contacting residents by text, email and phone to con them out of money and access personal bank details. The scammers tell people they have either paid too much council tax and are due a refund which they offer to claim on their behalf for a fee. A similar scam demands payment for council tax arrears.

Another scam aims to convince people their property is in the wrong council tax band and offers to secure a refund, again in return for a payment – even though a council tax band reassessment is available for free. Fees of £150 have been
quoted in the scams which falsely claim to be from local councils or the Valuation Office Agency in a bid to appear official and trick people into falling victim to them. Some also use the Government’s GOV.UK branding in text messages and emails in a bid to appear more convincing, and often include a link to a fake official-looking website to claim the refund.

Top Tips:
• Anyone who receives an email, text message or phone call offering a council tax refund should not to give out any personal information, particularly bank account details, or debit or credit card details.
• You should delete the email or text, block the sender and make sure they do not reply or click on any links, the LGA said. Any such phone calls should be brought to an end as quickly as possible.
• Residents, who wish to have their council tax band assessed, can do so for free by contacting the Valuation Office Agency.

This information will have been supplied to residents with either a previous or current Council Tax bill.