We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We Asked

We consulted on a proposal to end the funding that Adult Social Care (ASC) provides to two supported housing providers and develop a new Community Living Network (CLN) provided by the council’s Enablement Team in its place.

The funding is used to provide support services to 82 people living in 13 non-council supported housing schemes. These services support service users who have a learning difficulty and/or a mental health difficulty, who, in most cases, do not meet the council’s threshold for care and support.

As part of the consultation the council wanted to gauge the support for the proposal to end the funding to the support providers and the impact on service users and stakeholders on developing a new CLN in its place.

You Said

Council officers ensured that the service users had every opportunity to present their views via seven meetings with support workers or an advocate, completing an online survey on their own or with support and welcoming comments from their carers and anyone connected with their support.

The support providers had four meetings with the council and the five Landlords each had an individual meeting, so their views could be gauged.  The meetings were well attended, and we believe that the vast majority of affected service users put forward their views.

We received 72 responses to the survey:

  • 63% were from service users living in the schemes or were completed on their behalf
  • 23% were from the support provider staff
  • 11% were from members of the public

Over half of the respondents were people with disabilities, with 58% identifying as having a mental health difficulty.

86% of respondents disagreed with the proposals. Most people were worried about the detrimental impact that the proposals might have on the service users’ mental health. There was some support for reducing the support hours and looking at other ways of funding the service. A petition was set up on change.org to stop the changes and representations were received from an Elected Member, the local MP and NHS professionals.

Towards the end of the consultation the two support providers offered an alternative proposal to the council. They suggested reducing the number of properties within the schemes and a reduction in the hours of support they provided. They agreed to reduce the communal charges levied on service users in some schemes and to consider the introduction of assured shorthold tenancies for all service users.

We Did

The council met with the support providers and considered their new proposals. It was agreed that they were viable. A decision to implement the alternative model of support proposed by the support providers was agreed by the Assistant City Mayor – Adult Social Care and Wellbeing on 8 March 2019, effective from 1 of April 2019

The council will monitor the efficacy of the new proposals through the contract monitoring process.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the proposed 20mph zone for the Montrose School area.

You Said

We received six responses to the online consultation from outside the consultation area. Three responses were for both the proposed 20mph speed limit and the proposed traffic calming and three responses were both against the proposed 20mph speed limit and the proposed traffic calming.

A paper consultation was also delivered directly to local residents. We had 600 responses to this, representing a 25% response rate. Of these responses, 443 people (74%) were in favour of the 20mph speed limit and 340 (57%) were in favour of the proposed traffic calming.

We Did

As a result of the support for the proposal, the city mayor has approved implementation of the scheme which is scheduled to come into force in late spring 2019.

We Asked

We consulted on a proposal to end the funding that Adult Social Care (ASC) provides to six housing associations. The funding is used to provide support services to residents living in 31 non-council sheltered housing schemes. These services support people who, in most cases, do not meet the council’s threshold for care and support.

As part of the consultation the council wanted to understand whether the six housing associations could continue to provide some form of support to these residents without ASC funding.

You Said

Council officers worked closely with the six housing associations and their residents to gauge views on the proposal. In total we met with 111 people through 13 meetings. 95 of those people were residents and 16 were housing association staff.

The meetings were held in the day rooms of schemes affected across the city to ensure they were accessible to the residents.

As part of the main consultation we received 207 responses.

Responses were received from a range of stakeholders although 67% of responses received were from the residents of the 31 sheltered schemes.

Comments made through the focus group meetings and responses from consultation surveys indicated residents were concerned about losing the funding for their support service. They were also clear about the value they derived from that service. Where there were clear plans in place from the housing association to mitigate against the impact of the proposal, residents felt reassured.

The main comment in terms of how the service met their needs was that they valued the wellbeing support as a way of helping residents remain independent.

The support, residents felt, also helped to reduce isolation and loneliness. Residents described it as a lifeline in terms of supporting their ability to participate in the community of the scheme/s.

We Did

The council has decided to end the funding for the ILS sheltered support service.

Although residents raised valid concerns about the impact of the proposal, the consultation process enabled council officers to understand how residents in these schemes would continue to be supported, without ASC funding.

All six housing associations demonstrated well developed ideas for continuing the support. Some of the proposals may require residents to pay for support in the future but council officers were reassured that residents would be fully consulted on those proposals.

Other forms of support, such as volunteer roles and good neighbour initiatives will also be considered, and this will help mitigate against some of the impact residents raised around loneliness and isolation.

We Asked

We asked for views on new powers that would allow the council to increase premiums for properties that have been empty and unfurnished for two years or more from April 2019.

You Said

  • 84 responses were received, 63 of whom were also residents of Leicester.
  • A majority of respondents (60%) supported introducing one or more of the premiums outlined. 39% supported no change.
  • 44% of respondents said the changes would have no or little impact on them personally, 26% said they would impact financially but this was justified, and 30% would be financially impacted and felt this was unjustified.
  • 71% of respondents felt there should be some exemptions, although there was no agreement as to who these should apply to.

We Did

The consultation feedback was presented to full council on 15 November 2018. A decision was made to adopt the proposed premiums of 100% for homes empty for more than two years in 2019/20, and to approve in principle adopting further premiums for homes left empty for five and ten years in 2020/21 and 2021/22.

The council decided to adopt the government recommended exemptions for occupants serving in the Armed Forces and self-contained annex properties.

We Asked

We asked for views on the proposed implementation of temporary speed humps on Ashton Green Road and for opinions on the overall traffic calming and speed reductions in the area.

You Said

34 responses were received to the online consultation

14 were from Glebelands
6 were from the Glebelands Park/ Morris Homes Development
5 were from Thurcaston Park
3 were from Elsewhere in Leicester
6 were from outside the City Boundary
 

510 letters were sent and we had 34 responses online, which is a 7% response rate.
21 (62%) were in favour of the proposed implementation of temporary speed humps.
13 (38%) were against the proposed implementation of temporary speed humps.

We Did

As a result of the support of the proposal, the City Mayor has approved the scheme which is scheduled to come into force early in 2019.

We Asked

We asked for views on the proposed reduction to the minimum standard level of income that a service user can keep for Disability Related Expenditure (DRE) within the financial assessment, from £20 to £10 for a single person (and from £15 to £10, if one of a couple).

You Said

We consulted with service users (or their carers or representatives) receiving non-residential care.

A total of 788 responses to the consultation were received, via post or online submissions.

57% of respondents disagreed with the proposals.

43% of respondents agreed with the proposal or did not have a view to express.

We Did

More than half of the people who are currently in receipt of DRE (53%) would not be affected by the proposals.

Analysis of service users with DRE indicated that 62% of service users have DRE related costs of less than £10 per week.

The Assistant City Mayor for Adult Social Care and Wellbeing has approved the proposal, which will be implemented in full from 1 April 2019. Discretion will remain in the financial assessment process and where a person can show that their qualifying disability expenditure is in excess of the minimum standard level, the council will allow them to keep more income to cover those costs.

We Asked

The council consulted on a proposal to end the service. This is because our review found that although the service is valued by those attending, there was no evidence that it prevents people from developing eligible social care needs.
 

You Said

Respondents felt that the service helps avoid social isolation and helps them with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and independence.
 

We Did

The council has decided to end the service which currently only supports around 12 people at any one time. If service users have an assessment for adult social care and they are eligible for services, they could receive services such as specialist community opportunities (day services) for people with brain injury.

We Asked

We sought the views of residents, businesses, gambling operators, responsible authorities and other interested parties on the content of our Gambling Policy for the coming three years.

You Said

Four responses were received during the consultation period, one of which was from an organisation and one from a representative of gambling operators.

We Did

The proposed policy and details of the consultation responses, together with officer observations, were reported to the full council on 15 November 2018. The policy was approved and subsequently published on our website in December 2018. The new policy will take effect on 1 February 2019.

We Asked

We asked whether you wanted us to align our term dates with those set by Leicestershire County Council, or whether you preferred us to set different dates with half terms of equal length.

You Said

You said that you preferred term dates to be aligned with the county council. 4,099 responses were received, with around 80% supporting the city council having the same holiday dates as the county council.

We Did

We did decide to align our term dates with those set by the county council for the academic years 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22.

We Asked

We asked for your views on a proposed 20mph zone for the Hazel Primary School area.

You Said

Consultations were carried out by a letter drop to local residents and advertising on the Leicester City Council consultation website. Of the 23 responses received, 22 (96%) were in favour of the proposed 20mph speed limit.

We Did

As a result of the support shown for the proposals, the City Mayor has approved implementation of the scheme which is programmed to be implemented during the spring 2019.

We Asked

We asked for views on the proposed introduction of a 20mph zone and other traffic calming measures in the Davenport Road area

You Said

11 responses were received to the online consultation
10 were within the consultation delivery area
1 was location unknown
 
We also issued a paper quastionnaire to residents in the area covered by the 20mph zone
 
676 letters were delivered. 250 people replied (including 10 online) which was a 37% response rate
212 (85%) were in favour of the proposed 20mph zone, 35 (14%) against and 3 (1%) were unsure
179 (72%) were in favour of the proposed traffic calming, 59 (24%) against and 12 (5%) were unsure.

We Did

As a result of the support of the proposal, the City Mayor has approved the implementation of the scheme which is scheduled to come into force early 2019.

We Asked

We asked for your views on a proposed 20mph zone for the Medway Primary School area.

You Said

Consultations were carried out by a letter drop to local residents and advertising on the Leicester City Council consultation website. Of the 160 responses received, 148 (92%) were in favour of the proposed 20mph speed limit.

We Did

As a result of the support shown for the proposals the City Mayor has approved implementation of the scheme which is programmed to be implemented during the spring 2019.

We Asked

We consulted on a proposal to commission all of the city council’s advocacy services jointly with Leicestershire County Council and Rutland. The services would consist of:
a) Care Act 2014 advocacy only for all client groups, including advocacy in prisons
b) Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (NHS Complaints – ICAS)
c) Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) and Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) services.

You Said

We Did

The council will procure the following four services jointly with Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in 2019:
a) Care Act 2014 advocacy only for all client groups, including advocacy in prisons
b) Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (NHS Complaints – ICAS)
c) Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
d) Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) services.

 

We Asked

We consulted over a proposal to end adult social care funding to the Leicester Stroke Club. This was because:

  • there was no evidence that the club helped to prevent or delay people from developing higher levels of need
  • alternative sources of support are available for service users if eligible
  • of the 33 people using the club at the time of the review, only 22 were city residents. This means the city council’s funding was effectively supporting non-city residents.

You Said

We Did

The council has decided to end funding to the club. Service users will be supported to find alternative sources of support should the club have to close. However, the council will support the club to find alternative funding sources.

We Asked

The council consulted on a proposal to end the Disabled Persons’ Support Service. This is because the Care Act 2014 requires ASC to engage directly with service users and to involve them in the development of services, which the current contract does not deliver.

The proposal was to end the Disabled Persons Support Service and to replace it with a new Service User Participation Service.

The rationale for the proposal is that the Service User Participation service will be a better model as it will enable disabled people to participate directly rather than through intermediaries.

In addition, infrastructure support for disability groups is available from Voluntary Action Leicestershire; and Healthwatch also enables disabled people to have a voice in health and social care services.

You Said

Only seven people responded to the consultation, and only three of those provided comments. Points raised in the consultation covered concerns that disabled people might lose out on support, and concern that Voluntary Action LeicesterShire may not be able to support disability organisations.

We Did

The council has decided to end to the Disabled Persons Support Service and to replace it with a new Service User Participation Service which will be procured in 2019. The new service will support disabled people to get involved directly in shaping adult social care services.

As part of the new service, the ‘We Think’ and ‘Bright Lights’ groups for people with a learning disability, will continue to have support to feed in their views.

In addition, the council continues to fund Voluntary Action Leicestershire to provide infrastructure support to disability groups (and others) in the city; and continue to fund Healthwatch which enables disabled people (and others) to have a voice in local health and social care services.

We Asked

We asked for your views on the proposed 20mph zone for the Belgrave St Peters Primary School area.

You Said

We received four responses to the online consultation. Three were in favour of  the 20mph speed limit.

A paper consultation was also delivered directly to local residents. We had 80 responses to this, representing a 17% response rate. Of these responses, 73 people (91%) were in favour of the 20mph speed limit.

We Did

As a result of the support for the proposal, the City Mayor has approved implementation of the scheme which is scheduled to come into force in November 2018.

We Asked

Fosse Arts is a long standing,  well-regarded, council service based at Fosse Neighbourhood Centre. It provides affordable access to arts and pottery facilities on a pay as you go and short course basis. There are studio spaces leased to five potters. In addition, the facilities are used to provide short term, externally funded projects for schools and community organisations. The service is now part of the Adult Skills and Learning Service who also provide other classes at Fosse Neighbourhood Centre. However there are long standing challenges with facilities at Fosse Neighbourhood Centre, particularly with regard to access for people with disabilities and in relation to the electrics for the kilns.
 
In addition to the online consultation, the Head of Adult Skills and Learning and the staff based at Fosse Arts have undertaken a face to face user engagement process. On 6 September 2018 Cllrs Cassidy, Alfonso and Malik visited the centre to meet users and discuss the proposals and they were re-assured by the positive response from service users to the proposals.

You Said

The majority of users consulted are in favour of the relocation and even where some individuals may find it less convenient, they will be willing to continue to attend at the new venue or existing alternative provision, at the Adult Education College or community venue.
 
Positive feedback:

  • Improved access and easier evacuation for people with disabilities in a new venue was welcomed.
  • Users of the pottery facilities were very positive about the proposed improved facilities especially the kilns.
  • For most people the proposed venue is more convenient for them or they are already travelling some distance to Fosse and it is not significantly worse.
  • Access to the outside from classrooms and good ventilation is particularly popular as this is a problem at Fosse.
  • Users were  positive that the council is seeking to secure the future of Fosse Arts and invest in the facilities.
  • All five potters who hire space at Fosse NC are happy to relocate.
  • Carers and support organisations were sent information and asked to comment on the proposals. No concerns were raised. There was a positive response to the proposed venue having improved access and facilities
  • Partner organisations who have used the facility in the past have also been contacted. No issues have been raised.
  • Learners with learning difficulties tend to travel by car / taxi and will happily relocate, especially if facilities and accessibility improves.  Adult Social care were contacted and are aware of one individual who will need assistance from them with travel training to access the proposed new venue.
  • Learners with mental health difficulties (REMIT) – most are happy to relocate to Bishopdale Road or to the existing alternative provision at the Adult Education College if there are places available.

The key issues and concerns:

  • Art students are generally more reluctant to relocate than the pottery students because they feel current facilities are ok or just need a spruce up. Around 10 art students said that it would be too far/too difficult to get to Bishopdale Road and they would look for classes elsewhere. Others raised concerns that if this meant that subsequently student numbers fall, the classes will then be cancelled and everyone will lose out
  • Disabled access – There was discussion with disabled users and carers about how to maximise the accessibility at Bishopdale Road.  Internal access needs to be as good as external (ie double doors to classrooms; adjustable desks, wheels and sinks; toilet with hoist). Parking and drop off arrangements need sufficient space and be near the front door.
  • The area around Bishopdale Road, is perceived by some as dangerous with a history of anti-social behaviour and hate crime. Concerns were raised about accessing/leaving the venue in the dark; damage to cars if have to park on the road; vandalism of the facilities.
  • Some concern was raised about the sufficiency of parking spaces within the grounds.
  • Concerns were raised that it may lead to other changes – loss of the drop-in format, changes to the timetable, increases in fees and charges.
  • Some concern about the size and layout of proposed potters studios at Bishopdale.
  • ESOL students – most would rather relocate to Westcotes Library or another venue in the Narborough Road area, which is closer to home than Fosse / Bishopdale Road.

What we have done so far:

  • Worked with the staff from Fosse Arts and Property Services  to further develop the options and specification for accessibility, layout and use of space at Bishopdale Road to ensure the best solutions and to address the issues raised. The proposals have now been costed and are awaiting final approval.
  • Reviewed the crime statistics for the area around Bishopdale Road and Fosse Arts over a six month period. The crime rates at Fosse are significantly higher than at Bishopdale Road. Exterior lighting, building and site security including CCTV have been included in the project specification.
  • Reassured users that there are no plans to change the current format of provision.
  • Explored options to establish of some provision (art and ESOL) in the Narborough Road area. 

 
 

We Did

We are working to secure the funding needed to deliver the project. Once that is confirmed we will develop an implementation plan and timeline and communicate this with all users and stakeholders.
 

We Asked

The council consulted on a proposal to withdraw funding from the 14 lunch clubs in the city who receive grants from Adult Social Care. The council wants to see the clubs continue to run as it is recognised that they are valued by the people that attend them.

However, only certain groups receive funding, the amount they get varies widely, and the funding pattern has developed in an ad hoc way over time and is not based on evidence of need.

It is recognised that a wide range of other groups for older people (and others) run in the city that are not receiving adult social care funding, which has to now be prioritised for people with substantial needs to help them manage basic daily activities.

You Said

We Did

The council has decided to phase out funding for lunch clubs over a three-year period (starting in January 2019) rather than end funding in one go as was proposed in the consultation. The phased reductions will be:
From January 2019: 25% reduction
From January 2020: 50% reduction
From January 2021: 75% reduction
From Jauaryn 2022: end of funding.

The purpose of the phased approach is to give the clubs time to find alternative funding and/or less costly ways of supporting older people to avoid social isolation. During this process, the council will provide advice and support to help the clubs find these alternatives.

We Asked

We consulted on a proposal to re-commission support for people with visual or dual sensory impairment. The proposal included streamlining some aspects of the service, as follows:

  • Information, advice and guidance service, prioritising the work of the hospital support workers
  • Rehabilitation and reablement and service for visually impaired people with delivery through more group work and less one to one work
  • Equipment – reduced to focus on equipment for rehabilitation and reablement work
  • Specialist reablement and communication for deafblind people. The main change would be to ongoing communication support for these clients. It was proposed that statutory support (for those assessed as eligible) would be funded through self-funding or a Direct Payment, depending on the outcome of the service user’s financial assessment. This approach is aligned to the process for other types of service user.
  • Continued funding for the maintenance of the Sight Register, but at a reduced level of funding to reflect the city’s proportion of the register as compared to that of the Leicestershire and Rutland proportion.

You Said

We Did

The council will re-procure the service along the lines set out in the proposal. However, as a result of feedback on the consultation, specialist reablement for deafblind people will be retained, and some funding for equipment will also be retained.

We Asked

We consulted on a proposal to commission a single carers’ support service. The service would support carers from a range of backgrounds. It would also support carers who have a diverse range of caring roles, and those who look after people with a wide range of needs, such as physical disability, learning disability, mental health needs and so on.

This arrangement would replace the current system of having several specific contracts.

You Said

We Did

The council will procure a single Carers’ Support service during 2019. Care Act advocacy support for carers will be included in new advocacy services to be procured in 2019.