Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 14th May 2009
Title of Item/Report
Scrutiny Review of Older Peoples Stategy
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered a report that presented the findings of the Corporate, Adult Services and Social Inclusion Select Committee following a review of the Council's Older People Strategy.

It was explained that the review examined progress made against the strategy since its approval in January 2008 and sought to consider how the delivery of services and advice for older people could be further improved, working where possible with other relevant partners, and seeking to raise the profile of older people's issues and making it easier for the public to access services and advice.

It was noted that following consideration of the recommendations by Cabinet, an action plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how approved recommendations would be implemented detailing officers responsible for action and timescales.


1. That the approach taken by the Council to introduce and monitor a co-ordinated Older Peoples Strategy with key partner agencies be supported and that progress against the strategy be acknowledged.

2. That the Council continue to develop its partnership approach to providing support for older people in the Borough through future service planning.

3. That the roll out of No Cold Calling Zones within Borough be supported and that this be targeted towards those areas of greatest vulnerability to doorstep crime.

4. That information on No Cold Calling Zones be publicised on the Council's website and in Stockton News.

5. That awareness of the Beware the Bogeyman Campaign be promoted through all available Council outlets and attempts be made to promote the initiative with hard to reach groups and Community/Residents Associations, church/faith groups etc via the Voluntary and Community Sector (including SCRAGA/Residents Associations/Catalyst/Help the Aged/Age Concern, other established communication channels) and that all Councillors be provided with information in order to promote the scheme via their ward surgeries, personal web pages etc..

6. That availability of the range of cultural and leisure activities be promoted wherever possible through third sector organisations including Help the Aged, Age Concern, U3A and the Over 50's Assembly and publicised in the Golden Guide, libraries and Customer Contact Centres.

7. That the availability of grant funding for outdoor exercise/ recreational equipment for older people be considered within future service planning; with reference to the possible options identified such as use either in dedicated apparatus sites (with possible location next to children's play areas) or integrated within ‘healthy walks/leisure trails'.

8. That all services, including Tees Active, be encouraged to engage in regular consultation with Help the Aged, Age Concern, U3A, the Over 50's Assembly and other appropriate organisations regarding their service provision and that opportunities for joint publicity of activities be explored as part of this consultation.

9. That the availability of ‘free swimming' from 1st April 2009 for a two year period in any of the Council's pools for people over 60, be promoted in each of the Council's contact points and libraries.

10. That the Home Improvement Agency be asked to promote their service through other Older Peoples organisations including web links to other bodies.

11. That all Councillors be provided with information and criteria on the Handyperson Service in order to advertise its availability through their web pages and ward surgeries; together with information on free home fire and general safety checks.

12. That the Handyperson service be featured in a future edition of Stockton News and publicised through libraries.

13. That information on the Handyperson Service be made available through customer access points/call centre as part of the Access to Services Strategy.

14. That feedback from Renaissance on older peoples issues be provided on the Council's website in order to raise awareness of their work.

15. That information regarding benefits that could be applicable to older people be publicised on the Council's website, with other third sector organisations, Council contact points, Stockton News etc.

16. That the feedback from the Northern Housing Consortium consultation on the Age Friendly Community in the North be fed into the review stage of the Older People Strategy.

17. That the integration of services for older people as part of the Council's Access to Services Strategy, be endorsed.

18. That information regarding the Concessionary Fares Scheme continue to be promoted in each of the Council's contact points and libraries and on the Council's Website.

19. That the Stockton on Tees Public Transport Forum be promoted and that representations be made at this forum with a view to persuading bus companies to take appropriate action to improve their services in order to address the decline in bus patronage.

20. That the Council make appropriate representation, including through the Tees Valley Bus Users Forum, to ensure that bus companies make adequate provision to cater for visitors/patients in respect of the location of the new hospital at Wynyard as well as existing hospitals already experiencing the effects of a reduction in bus services.

21. The proposed Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation Programme (EIT) review of the Council's Community Transport Service, along with the subsidy provided by the Council for public transport services and in respect of Concessionary Fares; be welcomed as a step towards ensuring that service efficiencies were maximised and that there was an appropriate amount of accessibility for those residents that relied on such transport.

22. That the Council's web site and other communication outlets be utilised to promote opportunities for public participation in voluntary and public organisations; as well as the available initiatives in support of older people in employment and enterprise.

23. That opportunities be taken to identify and promote community resourced based training providing basic IT skills/training (i.e how to use the internet, e-mail etc.) as opposed to more formal qualification based courses already provided.

24. That the criteria for the commissioning of services to address health inequality and promote well being be noted, along with the existence of those campaigns targeted specifically towards meeting older peoples needs.

25. That opportunities for the Council to participate in joint working on older people issues be further explored with Catalyst, Help the Aged, Age Concern and the U3A and other similar organisations.

26. That Stockton News and the Golden Guide document continue to be utilised to provide information, in easy to read language, promoting the activities and achievements of older people, and including details of Older Peoples services delivered, being prepared or planned for introduction at a future time, and that the Council seek to explore with Older People the level of interest/ need around 'drop in' meeting facilities for older people and to develop plans based on this feedback with partners.

27. That a dedicated Older Persons' information section be created on the Council's website, containing all relevant information highlighted in this review regarding Older Peoples services, activities and benefits and this area include links to the websites of other organisations working to support the needs of older people in the Borough.

28. That opportunities to promote Older Peoples issues, including those of partner organisations, continue to be identified as part of the Council's Access to Services strategy (paragraph 1.18 refers).

29. That Older Peoples organisations be consulted on the format and readability of the public summary Older Peoples Strategy to ensure that this is presented in clear and easy to understand language.

30. That consideration be given to the development of an Older Persons Elected Member Champion role to provide a focal point and be an advocate for promoting Older Peoples issues and that other key partner organisations be asked to consider adopting a similar role.

31. That the Council, in consultation with relevant partner organisations, look to champion Older People's issues through participation in the National Older People's Day in 2009.
Reasons for the Decision
To endorse the direction of travel of the Council's Older People Strategy.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Mrs Womphrey declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in this item as a result of her membership of Tees Active.
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By Midnight, Friday, 22nd May 2009

Date of Publication: 19 May 2009

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