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Putting mental health support for young people and families first

February 4, 2021 9:09 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems

A better wayThe Liberal Democrats on Warwickshire County Council say that Covid has changed everything and are calling for a Warwickshire that is Fairer, Caring and Greener.

The Group's budget amendment on 8 February 2020 is to: reduce planned budget cuts, especially in 2021 -2022 to give services the space they need to redesign and restructure themselves, so they can operate effectively in the post-pandemic climate.

  • Fairer ­- giving opportunities for all
  • Caring - for all our residents
  • Greener - there is no planet B

Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Warwickshire, said in introducing the amendment:

"First, we need to place on record our thanks to the NHS, Social Care staff all and WCC staff along with every single person who has helped and supported communities through this difficult time.

"It is right that we need to look forward and tackle head on the legacy that Covid will leave us with, such as increased mental health issues, particularly with young people. The NSPCC says the amount of counselling for loneliness provided by its Childline service has risen by 10% since the pandemic started. The NSPCC also says, 'As each lockdown was eased the numbers increased dramatically, along with reports of domestic abuse'.

"Liberal Democrats would reduce the planned budget cuts in order to allocate a large sum to invest in essential services now. We have also brought Climate Change to the fore and urge the County Council to accelerate its actions.

"We have proposed the lowest Council Tax possible without damaging the services that are needed to support recovery after the pandemic. The Conservative Government is forcing Councils to raise Council Tax and at the same time shelving proper funding of adult Social care, and the Liberal Democrats believe these priorities are wrong."

Families and young people are at the heart of our proposals, all designed to tackle the legacy of Covid:

  • Allocation of £4 million over the medium term towards supporting families and young people who have suffered increased anxiety and mental health issues through the pandemic. Because of Covid we need to strengthen safeguarding in Warwickshire.
  • A £150K allocation for the ECO Schools programme to help Warwickshire increase its biodiversity .
  • A £150k allocation towards developing partnership working across the whole of Warwickshire at every level, empowering localism through Town and Parish Councils and supporting the work of WALC.
  • £200k towards implementing the new duties regarding Domestic Abuse and to develop new prevention programmes.
  • Allocation of £300,000 towards new cycling routes and improving rights of way and forestry.

Liberal Democrats have also brought together funding pots to create stronger foundations:

  • Climate Change, accelerating the work needed to make Warwickshire County Council a net zero carbon producer by 2030. Supporting the greening of our towns and supporting the awards of High Street funds. Support for joint City of Culture greening initiatives that benefit Warwickshire's residents. Business cases should also seek to support a green economy, targeting micro businesses that are innovative.
  • A Fairer, Caring Fund that prioritises strengthening Warwickshire's towns and communities by working in partnership, making us a leader in supporting the extra work needed in areas such as autism and dementia.