Review of Victims’ Services

Have you been a victim of crime, or know someone who has?

Do you work with and provide support services to victims of crime?

The Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel has set up a dedicated group to review existing support services for victims of crime, which will focus specifically on the successes and gaps in supporting victims and provide an assessment of local need. A key part of the review is to listen to the views of the people who have first-hand experience of those support services – either the victims of crime, or those that support them.

This is a crucial piece of work that will help the Police and Crime Commissioner in his ongoing work to commission victim services in the future and it is important that those services reflect victim needs and priorities. National research of best practice support to victims demonstrates that it should:

  • Be equally accessible across the county;
  • Have an approach that puts the needs of the victim at the heart of the system;
  • Be multi-agency, where appropriate;
  • Provide support to victims of anti-social behaviour and hate crime;
  • Have consistent, specialised provision for victims of domestic and sexual violence; and
  • Provide specialised support for children and young people. (‘Listening and learning: Improving support for victims in Warwickshire’, VSA project)

If you wish to share your experiences and views, or make suggestions about how existing services could be improved, please contact the Panel by 25 July using the contact details below:

Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel
Warwickshire County Council
PO Box 9, Shire Hall
Warwick, CV34 4RR

Tel: (01926) 413747
Email: democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

For more information on the role and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Panel, please visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/policeandcrimepanel

Councillor Question Time – Local Democracy Week

It was Local Democracy Week  last week. One of the key aims of the week is getting young people involved in democracy. Warwickshire VOX and Members of the Youth Parliament are elected each year by young people and do a great job of representing the views of young people and campaigning on the issues that matter to young people in Warwickshire.

We’ve blogged here before about Councillors engaging with VOX and MYPs, and we thought we should build on the success of our previous events.

We thought it would be great to bring together the VOX and MYPs and some of our Councillors for a Question Time event – putting our Councillors on the spot and giving VOX and MYPs a chance to hold them to account – any they really did!

We selected four Councillors from across the County to form our panel – Alan Farnell (Leader of the County Council), Richard Cheney, Mike Gittus and Tim Naylor.

The MYPs and VOX didn’t hold back on questions – about cuts to the  youth service, transport to sixth forms and colleges, careers advice in schools, and the minimum wage for 16 year olds.

We had a good debate online with some of the young people  as well, who were reporting on the event as well:

The event went really well. In listening to the young people discuss issues with the Councillors you could see that they have a lot in common – both are elected to represent the views of others, and campaign for the issues of local people.

I’m confident that we’ll be blogging on here soon about the other ways our Councillors will be engaging with young people about the issues they face, and how the Council can try to address them. If you’ve got any ideas about how we can do this – leave us a comment below!

How bus services cuts have affected local communities

Have you been left waiting?

Councillors have just begun a scrutiny review of the impact that bus service cuts have had on local communities. The review aims to find the places in the County that have been hardest hit and find ways to improve their services.

Councillors have highlighted this issue because it affects so many people and impacts on all kinds of other areas like jobs, education, health, and leisure. The Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee recently hosted a meeting for people to talk about transport problems; some of the major issues that we picked up were:

  • Working people not being able to get to shift jobs on time
  • Young people not being able to get home from night-time jobs at pubs or restaurants
  • Older people who couldn’t get to their local hospital or doctor’s surgery
The review will run from now through to September, with Councillors reporting their findings at the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 19 September. For scrutiny that is quite a short review for a major topic but it means the review can feed into the Council’s budget setting process for next year.

If you’re a bus user then tell us about your experiences – are the services in your area regular enough? Are you able to access work, your doctor’s practice, the local hospital, shopping facilities etc.? The more responses we have the better.

You can get in touch by emailing me at daveabbott@warwickshire.gov.uk or leaving a comment below.

Improving Council services – have your say

The County Council provides a wide range of services for local residents, funded in part by your Council Tax. These cover social care, children’s services, roads and infrastructure, waste disposal, and fire and rescue.

Are these services working?

Could they be improved?

Are there hidden problems that need to be explored?

Most Council decisions are taken by the Cabinet, which is made up of 10 county councillors from the Conservative group. However, there are many other councillors, from across the political parties, whose role is to hold the Cabinet to account on those decisions.

This is done via something called “Overview & Scrutiny”. Councillors choose specific topics to examine and scrutinise in detail, and then try to form clear recommendations about how to improve them. The focus is on better outcomes for residents and service users – and it is a key element of the Council’s democratic process.

Councillors will soon be deciding what topics they’ll be looking at over the next 12 months – and they’d like to hear your views*.

What should the Council be scrutinising?

Please email your thoughts by 6 May 2012 to: democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

*Scrutiny only has the capacity to look at certain issues. However, any requests that Councillors are unable to investigate will be passed on to the relevant Council department.

Our first ever post!

Welcome on board. This new blog is designed to keep you up-to-date with all that’s going on at Warwickshire County Council.

It’s a new initiative from the Democratic Services team, who will be posting on here with updates from a range of Council meetings and committees.

We’ll also be using the site to seek your views. Whether you’re a local resident, an elected councillor or someone from outside the county (all are welcome!), we want you to get involved.

So please, take a look around, leave some feedback, share anything of interest… and keep coming back. We’re in the early stages of development, so your input can really shape the future content and success of this site.

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