West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2018-11-12
End date: 2018-12-23
Results: 2019-03-05

Budget Proposal 2019/20: Mencap Family Advisor Service

This consultation is closed.


This is one of 14 budget proposals for 2019/20. You can view the full list online.

You can also view budget consultations from previous years.

The Mencap Family Advisor Service works with people with learning disabilities and their parents, carers and families to help them access the services and support available to them. This could include help with benefits, respite care, transport, social and leisure opportunities, transition, moving out of home and finding suitable employment. They also provide an advocacy service for parents, carers and service users.

The service employs four members of staff; one Family Support Manager and three Family Advisors.

In 2017, 164 people used this service.

We currently provide the Mencap Family Advisor Service with annual funding of £15,750.

Legislation requirements

The Care Act 2014 sets out duties relating to the provision of information and advice, advocacy and services required to meet care and support needs.  These duties are met by a number of services including those provided by the council through the Adult Social Care teams and commissioned from other providers such as the Citizens Advice West Berkshire.

What are we proposing?

To reduce the annual funding to the Mencap Family Advisor Service from £15,750 to £12,750 (a proposed saving of £3,000 or 19%) from 1 April 2019.

We propose to retender for an information and advice service for the families of people with learning disabilities with this reduced level of funding once the contract with Mencap ends on 31 March 2019.

What do we think the impact will be?

If we're able to commission the same service at a lower cost, then we expect the impact to be minimal. If we're unable to secure the same level of service, then families may have to wait longer to see an advisor or experience slower response times. There may also be a gap in service provision while we go through this process.

This service is part of a wider system of support including available advocacy services, support from the council's Adult Social Care teams as well as commissioned services to meet wider care and support needs. For example, there are commissioned services which provide advocacy support to eligible people to ensure that their voice is heard. There are also a wide range of commissioned services such as day services, residential care, supported living and other community based services all of which provide a degree of support to this community. The proposed reduction is small considering the totality of the support provided.

Please refer to the pdf icon Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) Stage One [392kb] for more details.

What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

The council's plan is to protect some voluntary sector provision, which is considered particularly effective or critical to the community, or which supports the delivery of a statutory function. Evidence from the West Berkshire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment regarding improvements to quality of life have also been considered.

We are proposing to continue with projects that support vulnerable adults, including the visually impaired, socially isolated and those with dementia through provision of support into employment, home visits, cooking, gardening and social clubs. These continue to support key priorities within the pdf icon Council Strategy 2015-2019 [8Mb] and the district's pdf icon Health and Wellbeing Strategy [2Mb].

Why we want your views

We would like to know how this proposal might impact you and the wider community, and any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of this proposed change.

All feedback will be considered at the Executive Committee on 14 February 2019. Following this, a final decision will be made at the Full Council meeting on 5 March 2019. The recommendations and your anonymised response will be posted on this page.

Please note: Social media discussions will not be monitored/considered as a valid response. 

What you told us

We received 19 responses (incl. one incomplete response) to the consultation. A background to the proposal and outline of the responses can be found in the Consultation Summary Report

What we did

An Equality Impact Assessment Stage Two was completed following the consultation.

The Full Council meeting on 5 March 2019 decided to progress this proposal.

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