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Adults with Learning Difficulties


Chris Chappell
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Herefordshire is some way behind with its provision of care for adults who have learning difficulties. At the end of last year, the council's scrutiny committee told Cllr Graham Powell to appoint an 'Advocate' for this group of vulnerable people. I was asked to take on this role and have been busy since then trying to understand how we in Herefordshire got so behind.

 

Until I retired recently, I was a care worker, and I also have a close relative who has learning difficulties so I have some experience.

I am currently visiting day centres, speaking to care providers, etc. I need the public, you, to let me know if you have come across any problems, if you have a relative who has learning difficulties and has experienced difficulties.

 

I am a great believer in communication and information gathering but if I do not know of a problem I may not be able to solve it. If I am to hold the council to account, and adults with learning difficulties to hold me to account for them, I need to hear from everyone one who believes they have a contribution to make. Hereford Voice is a great way to get information out, to hear people's views, swap ideas and get a feel for a situation. Hope you can help me help a vulnerable group of people who often get overlooked when budgets are set!

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Councillor Chappell, They couldn't have chosen a better man. Despite your sharp teeth, I was pleased when I heard you'd been appointed to this role. You'll do a good job and Graham Powell, despite his political colours is a good lad and his heart is in the right place.

I know a great deal about Advocacy work and speaking up for those less fortunate than you and I and so, if there is anything I can do to help you, just ask. That said, Im sure you've got all the tools to simply listen to the people who you now represent. It's the easiest thing to do Chris but moreoften than not, well intentioned people simply ignore the person with the disability and talk to the organisation because its the easier choice to make.

My warmest regards to you.

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Why oh why has it taken so long to make an issue of it. - and I am so glad it is now in the public domain , I get the feeling that Cllr Chappel was probably getting very frustrated when he worked as a Care Worker , seeing how things needed to change but was unable to do it - now , hopefully he can shout from the top of the Shire Hall and I know that Bobby and I , with others , will be there to support him .

I could have probably worded my thoughts better but , in short , anything we can do for the less fortunite in society to make their difficult life better we will.

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I sit on the health scrutiny committee and I have been doing this since I started as a councillor three years ago it was my recommendation that they appoint someone to this role they certainly don't take this serious enough protecting the most vulnerable is the most important thing this council does most of the rest of it In my opinion are games and bullshit so chris goodluck in your role and I will aid you where i can start with day care provision and adult placement because they are in turmoil.

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I am extremely pleased that you have been entrusted with this role Chris. I believe you have many qualities to bring to it.

I know many parents/carers of adults with learning disabilities, many of whom are advancing in years themselves. One parent I know of is caring for their child who is in their 30's, full time at home. This person can be extremely challenging, and I know that this parent, and many others like them feel there is no real alternative.

Two issues are raised time and time again. The introduction of "personal budgets" and all the hassle that goes with them, and the lack of respite care.

Charges are on the increase, yet choice and availability less.

If you could highlight these areas of concerns, I am sure they would be grateful.

Adults with learning disabilities themselves, are a group of people who have no effective voice. Whilst we all realise that services need to be trimmed - it is this group in society who are the least able to stand up and make themselves heard, when they are the ones who are losing out. We ALL  have a responsibility to the most vulnerable .

I truly wish you all the very best, and I am sure that you will do your very best, to make sure that their voice IS heard.

Kind regards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For the Attention of Councillor Chris Chappell........

Chris, in close proximity to the Aylestone Hill Railway Bridge there is a tiny little business that provides a great deal of love, care, support and training for those of us in society who have disabilities. The business is called 'Rose Tinted Rags' and the proprietors are two ladies called Karen and Tina.

They've recently received a communication from Hereford Council giving them a couple of months, to pack their belongings, clear the premises within Tann Brook Centre and clear off so that this bloody road to nowhere can be built.

Mind, given the complications that the Council are going to encounter during the Compulsory Purchase Order process, its fair to say that it'll be years before the bloody road construction gets anywhere close to being completed and the black top being laid in any close proximity to the Tann Brook Centre.

This is what I'd like you to do. It's a big ask. It ain't going to be easy and 'they' ain't going to be pleased with you championing this place. Please can you stop this madness, get a stay of execution and give Rosé Tinted Rags the help they need to continue supporting our fellow citizens with physical and learning disabilities.

It seems to me to be madness to destroy something that is entirely good just so that Tann Brook Centre can be emptied and left to rot for the next couple of years while the Council set about the task of clearing businesses, the Post Office and anyone else found to be active along this roads path.

I'd be very grateful if you could peruse this issue and perhaps add your voice to the cause that is being followed by Grid Knocker, me and a bunch of other posters who are now dependant upon you agreeing that this eviction is wholly unnecessary at this moment in time. Can you please help Chris?

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Herefordshire CC Press Release

 

 

Hereford link road public inquiry to be held

 

18 March 2014

 

The proposed city link road in Hereford took another step forward today as the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced a public enquiry will be held in April.

 

Negotiations with landowners along the line of the proposed road to buy their property by agreement have been ongoing for a number of years but in March 2013 the council made a decision to invoke compulsory purchase powers to secure the land in case we could not reach agreement with any of the landowners.

 

Following the making of the orders by the Council on 23 August 2013, a number of objections to them were made.

 

As required by the relevant inquiry procedure rules for both orders, it is necessary to prepare and serve upon each objector, and the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, a Statement of Case for each order explaining the Council’s case for them and the reasons for the making of the orders. The council’s Statements of Case were served upon the objectors and both Secretaries of State on 9 January 2014.

 

The inquiry is the next step in the process for the link road proposals and is an opportunity for Herefordshire Council to set out its case for the road and for those who have objected to be heard.

 

This Inquiry will be held starting on April 23 at 10am at Gardiner Hall, Royal National College, Venns Lane, Hereford HR1 1DT

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Im fairly certain the proprietors understand the 'writing is on the wall' and one day, in the future, they'll have to go. My point and Im certain it'll correspond with the people at Rosé Tinted Rags, is why not extend this eviction until the CPO process is complete.

They simply need time. They've earned this reward from society. We should do the right thing and help these people in every way that we can.

Once again, my warmest regards to you and thank you for your prompt response.

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Hi bobby47,

 

Have sent an email to an officer to find out what is happening and just off phone from arranging to visit Rose Tinted Rags on Thursday at 10am.

 

Not going to promise I will be able to do anything as promises are easy to break, but will do my best to get something sorted if a move is inevitable. Thanks for letting me know about Rose Tinted Rags, they had slipped under my radar. Anyone else reading this who knows of a centre for adults with learning difficulties that I may not have been told of, please let me know.

 

Best wishes bobby hope we meet up sometime.

Chris

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Thank you so much Councillor. I owe you a pint. Great work. In the meantime, Im going to be banging the drum on other social media sites and whip up support to get heard.

If during the course of this, some comments get heated, don't you think that you are being attacked. It's not you. Not at all. If there are attacks, it'll be aimed at the pointless process that sees something good being destroyed for an unwanted length of road.

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Please folks, leave a word of support to Rosé Tinted Rags and other similar organisations who do so much to help our society. If any of you know of any other groups who need a helping hand then let Chris Chappell know. Thank you all very much.

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I know Rose Tinted Rags, and the great work they do.

In case you don't know where they are, they are the ones who have decorated the railings with bunting, on the little railway bridge at the bottom of Aylestone Hill!

They work with a diverse range of groups, and I have only ever heard good reports of what they achieve in their workshops.

I really hope Chris has some success in helping them.

By the way Chris, you asked for centres you may have missed, have you heard of The Score Project?

I think it's run by The Chiltern Trust. It was originally run, for many years, by a brilliant chap called Sean Ladd. An amazing fellow, think he's based in Leominster now. Anyway, definitely worth a look. There premises are down by the snooker centre in Conningsby Street.

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Hi Dippy,

 

Am already working with Sean. I needed to look at DCs run for Adults with Learning Difficulties so he showed me round the DCs in Leominster, been to Widemarsh and will be looking at Day Centres in Ross when I find time.

 

Bobby has hit on something I am very passionate about and that is the need for DCs for people with physical, mental and learning difficulties. Sitting at home doing nothing is not good for anyone let alone if you have a disability. Mind they have to be run properly, with plenty to do for the clients who attend. There are some great DCs in the county, some run by the council, some by charities. Most are worth having a fight over to keep open.

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Sean is fantastic! The Score Project is not the same without him!

Chris, I am really pleased that you understand the importance of day centres and the impact of not having these resources makes to adults with learning disabilities. Could I just share with you something I have just been made aware of?

Last week, I received a few phonecalls from some very upset parents. They(or rather their adult offspring) are currently receiving money from The Independent Living Fund, which was set up by the government to enable this group of folks to access things such as day care and respite,( a home from home environment )and 1:1 support to get out and about.. This funding is being stopped. Not just withdrawn from a few individuals, but completely stopped.

This money is a lifeline.

Not only that, but two families tell me, that during annual discussions regarding who pays for what bit of the "care package" they were advised to use ILF money to pay for day centres which were funded by the council. Now, there is no ILF money,(from 2015) the council say there is no money, and the only ones who will miss out are the adults with learning disabilities, as there parents just cannot afford to pay out anymore.

I know these families struggle. They have made huge sacrifices to look after their children. As I posted earlier, some are now in their 20's, 30's, 40's, and still being looked after by elderly parents.

If they had to be placed in full time residential care, I am told it could be in the region of £200,000.00 per year. Is it not incredibly short sighted of the government to withdraw this lifeline of money, which enables them to stay at home a little longer??

The other aspect of this being, that there just isn't enough local residential placements available.

One parent told me,

"I just don't know how we will manage. I feel like taking "X" down to social services, and saying, "You care for him 24hours a day! Do it for a month, then tell me we don't need this help." We've been doing it for 32 years....I can't keep fighting for every little thing. I'm too tired."

Soon, we may have day care provision, but nobody will be able to afford to access it.

I have mentioned your new role.

Is it worth individuals contacting you directly??

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Visited on Thursday, very impressed. Took Council Chairman there couple of hours later who was also impressesed. Told Jesse Norman to visit so he is going to visit soon.

 

Made a statement for press release and BBC Hfd & Worcester phone me to say something on radio. So let's keep up the pressure. I am hopeful to get this sorted fairly soon!

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I can't tell you how grateful we all are Chris. Thanks so much. You're a good lad. I really do appreciate it. It's easy to say you'll do something and even easier to make excuses and keep out of an issue like this one so I'll forever be grateful that you got involved in this issue.

My very warmest regards to you my friend. Well done pal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A contract was signed yesterday for RTR to move to the Governors House in May. This has many advantages not least that it is by the bus station, close to rail station and proper crossings for the safety of users.

 

May I take the opportunity to thank all of you who have expressed your concern about RTR and the Users. Bobby, Two wheels etc your assistance was valued!

I am meeting so many people with Learning Difficulties who are such a joy to be with. Yesterday I met with the guys who are going to start up the Our News Our Views newspaper again. Entirely run by adults with learning difficulties with a little help from someone they pay from their individual payments. They have very little money and I have sign posted them to the end of the rainbow but if you know of any spare cash.........!

.

If you come across any individual or their carer who you feel may need my assistance please let me know.

Kind regards,

Chris

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Bobby , you get criticised by some posters for your comments - other posters ( me included ) understand where you are coming from .

You raised this subject and others followed and supported it - Cllr Chappell has been working in the background and all in all a very good result .

 

Well done Bobby , Cllr Chappell and all the supporters of this worth while project.

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