News

Politicians go public on the budget

This event is a chance to hear the latest information about Kirklees Council’s budget, and to put your questions to local party leaders and deputy leaders whilst this year’s budget debate is still live.

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Kirklees Council budget information event

Thursday 25th January 2018, from 7pm to 8.30pm
Huddersfield Town Hall, Corporation Street, Huddersfield HD1 2TA

This event is a chance to hear the latest information about Kirklees Council’s budget, and to put your questions to local party leaders and deputy leaders whilst this year’s budget debate is still live.

You’ll hear from our finance director, Debbie Hogg, about the current budget position, including what’s happened over the last few years, the outcome of our recent budget challenge exercise, and an overview of your council’s current finances. We’ll also share the key dates in the budget timeline, including when people can still be involved.

You will then have an opportunity to put your questions to local politicians.

Taking part in the event are:

Councillor Shabir Pandor – Labour, Deputy Leader

Councillor John Taylor – Conservative, Deputy Leader

Councillor Nicola Turner – Liberal Democrats, Leader

Councillor Andrew Cooper – Green Party, Leader

Kirklees Council continues to face tough financial challenges. The amount of money we receive to provide local services is decreasing at a time when demand for some activities is rising. This means we need to make changes to what we do and the way we do it.

We know that many people are worried about how these changes will affect local families and communities, so we want to make sure that you can ask your questions ahead of this year’s budget setting meeting (which will take place on 14th February 2018).

This is an open event and anyone is welcome to attend.

The event will also be webcast live and you will be able to follow live via #kirkcouncil on twitter.

Register to take part in the event

Follow the webcast

We’re backing Huddersfield

Last month Kirklees Council Chief Executive Jacqui Gedman was thrilled to be on the panel at a Breakfast Briefing at the John Smith’s Stadium to talk about the first 100 days since the promotion of Huddersfield Town Football Club to the Premier League.

Jacqui; Sean Jarvis the Commercial Director of Huddersfield AFC and Sir Gary Verity the CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire, talked to local businesses about  how Huddersfield can maximise the opportunities there are, whilst we’re in the media spotlight, to capitalise on investment here.

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Find out more

Watch this short video to see what happened at the event…https://youtu.be/ZFJnBgOak4U

Read what Huddersfield Examiner had to say about the event – Pin badges prove a ‘capital’ idea for Huddersfield Town

Photo credit – Huddersfield Examiner

Supporting Kirklees Care leavers at Number 11

We’re using our spaces in an innovative way to help care leavers in Kirklees. In just six weeks, our colleagues at KNH property services transformed our old register office into a drop in centre for care leavers and looked after children in Kirklees.

We involved local children in the design of the space which aims to help them to develop their skills and confidence and prepare them for independent living when they leave care.

Number 11 has facilities such as a shower, washing machine and kitchen and there are staff and volunteers on hand to offer support.

Have a look at this slideshow of the drop in space which shows you just how brilliant it is!

Improving outcomes for looked after children

Our last partnership workshop focussed on looked after children.  It took place on 6 September 2017 with 59 people from across the public, private and third sectors.

The aims of the workshop were to:

  • Meet our new Director for Children’s Services
  • Explore who our looked after children are, why they become looked after and the needs of looked after children
  • Plan how our collective resources could be used to improve early help to prevent children becoming looked after
  • Find out how to help promote fostering and adoption to increase provision for looked after children

Workshop programme

Julie Fothergill, Partnership Development Manager opened the workshop with an update on the work that had taken place since the last partnership workshop in June.

Jacqui Gedman, Chief Executive Kirklees Council gave an overview of progress on the development of the Strategic Partnership and then set the scene for this workshop.

Steve Walker, Director for Children’s Services for Kirklees and Leeds, explained the background as to why Kirklees and Leeds are working together in partnership.  He shared Kirklees data on looked after children and information about their experience of life and the most likely outcomes they face.

During the workshop partners were asked to contribute their ideas on how we improve early help so fewer children need to be looked after.  They also looked at how we can work together to improve the outcomes of our looked after children.

The final session focused on promoting fostering and adoption.  Partners were asked to think about how their organisation could become more carer friendly and how they could help recruit foster carers.

How did it go?

We had some fantastic feedback from people who attended the workshop…

“The messages were strong and clear – it was good to hear the things reflected back to us that we have been saying for a while.”

“More of the same please, this was excellent”

“I made useful contacts with other voluntary organisations which will help our organisation move forward.  I shall be following these up.”

“I’ve fed back the strong message from Steve that what is the best outcome for the child/young person should always be at the forefront of our minds.”

Thank you to all those who attended and shared their thoughts and offers of support.

 

First meeting takes place for the Kirklees Strategic Partnership Executive

Following the development of the Kirklees Strategic Partnership in April 2017, the first meeting of the Kirklees Strategic Partnership Executive took place on Thursday 13 July 2017.  Partners agreed that meetings would be informal and would provide a space for open discussion and debate about the challenges across the district.

What was discussed at the meeting?  

  • Jacqui Gedman gave an update on recent partnership events.  The first Annual Learning Summit and the Partnership Workshop on Improving Outcomes for Children.
  • Saleem Tariq, Deputy Director, Safeguarding, Specialist and Targeted Services at Leeds City Council talked about the improvement journey in Children’s Services and the partnership arrangement with Leeds City Council.
  • There was a discussion about Looked after Children and agreement that the theme of the next Partnership Workshop would be ‘Looked after Children’ to engage the wider partnership.
  • Carol Mckenna, Chief Officer of Greater Huddersfield CCG updated on Health and Social Care.

The next Kirklees Strategic Partnership Executive meeting will take place on 31 October 2017.

Working together to improve outcomes for children and young people

On June 21 2017, a wide range of partners came together for the first of four planned Partnership Workshops.  The workshop was hosted by Kirklees Council Chief Executive Jacqui Gedman at John Smith’s stadium, Huddersfield and looked at how partnership working can improve outcomes for children and young people in Kirklees.

What happened on the day?

Jacqui updated the group on how we are building on the great partnership working that is taking place across Kirklees.  We have set up the Kirklees Strategic Partnership which will give a strategic steer and provide focus on our shared outcomes.  She talked about how we are moving towards intelligence led commissioning for outcomes.

Jacqui reminded everyone of our shared outcomes:

  1. Children have the best start in life
  2. People in Kirklees are as well as possible for as long as possible
  3. People in Kirklees have aspiration and achieve their ambition through education, training and lifelong learning
  4. People in Kirklees live in cohesive communities, feel safe and are safe/protected from harm
  5. People in Kirklees experience a high quality, clean sustainable and green environment
  6. Kirklees has sustainable economic growth and provides good employment for and with communities and businesses
  7. People in Kirklees live independently and have control over their lives

Using data and intelligence well is key to our commissioning process.  The group looked at local maps that have been created using a breadth of local data and intelligence.

The interactive session allowed everyone to get involved and contribute what they know about their local area.  The work will help to build a rich picture of Kirklees and our communities.

Next, feedback was shared with the group from the recent Learning Summit which included the role of schools in communities and developing community hubs to include early help,  building trust between partners and sharing information.

Finally, Health Policy Officer Phil Longworth from Kirklees Council consulted the group on The Children’s Plan which includes 5 outcomes for children and young people.

  1. Be healthy
  2. Stay safe
  3. Enjoy and achieve
  4. Make a positive contribution
  5. Achieve economic well being

Jacqui Gedman said “The workshop was a fantastic start to the work of the Kirklees Strategic Partnership. There were lots of opportunities for members to participate and share knowledge and ideas.”

The next workshop will take place in September.

Kirklees Learning Summit 2017

The first Kirklees Annual Learning Summit took place on 12 June 2017 and brought together 158 people representing 64 schools and further education settings, local Councillors as well as public sector partners from health, police and the Council.

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You can find out what happened on the day by reading the Kirklees Learning Summit summary report. (PDF)

Introducing our new Director of Children’s Services

Steve Walker has joined Kirklees Council as the Director of Children’s Services. With over 25 years’ experience in children’s social care, he joins us as part of the flourishing relationship we have developed with Leeds City Council.

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Here’s what Steve had to say about his new role…

“Firstly, can I say that I’m delighted to be formally taking up post as the new DCS for Kirklees and to have the opportunity to work with colleagues to deliver good outcomes for children and young people in Kirklees.

I am also the DCS for Leeds City Council and I will hold the role across both authorities. I will report to the Leader and Members in Kirklees on my work here, as they remain responsible and accountable for children and young people and for the outcomes that we deliver.

Kirklees is just starting on an improvement journey. I know that it will be challenging but it may be reassuring to know that in my six years in Leeds we have been through the same journey and I hope that some of the lessons that we have learnt will be helpful in taking forward improvement in Kirklees. I am confident that we will be able to make a real difference in the lives of children and families.

The approach that we are in the process of finalising with the Department for Education is an Improvement Partnership, with the emphasis very much on partnership. ”

Steve’s career path so far…

“I trained to be a social worker in Glasgow and have always worked in Children’s Social Care as a front line social worker and manager but I also worked for a number of years as a research fellow at the University of London with Professor Hedy Cleaver.

During my time there I developed a range of materials to support practice before moving to work in the Children’s Development Team in the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales.

Prior to joining Leeds in 2011, I was the Head of Child and Family Services in Swansea. The thread throughout my career is the desire to improve outcomes for children and I am confident that we can do that here in Kirklees.”

 

 

 

Development of Kirklees Strategic Partnership

In mid – April, representatives from a number of key local organisations came together to discuss strengthening the work they do with each other.

In mid – April, representatives from a number of key local organisations came together to discuss strengthening the work they do with each other.

The group discussed the collective responsibility of partners for the people and place of Kirklees and started to think about how they could work together on shared priorities.

There were representatives from the public, private and third sector, all thinking about joint priorities, and the impact they could make together.

It was acknowledged that we need to become much better at the overarching steer we give to our strategic boards in Kirklees –  to pull them all together and develop high expectations and accountability.

There was agreement that the immediate focus should be on safeguarding children and looking at how all partners contribute to supporting vulnerable young people in Kirklees.

Jacqui Gedman, Chief Executive of Kirklees Council said “we have a real opportunity here for all partners to make a difference for the people and place of Kirklees. We all have shared ambitions for citizens here, and different strengths and knowledge to bring to the table. By doing this collectively, there will be a positive impact on all of our priorities and outcomes, and more importantly on the lives of the people of Kirklees”.

The meeting was extremely positive, and officers will be meeting again soon to produce practical steps to develop these ideas further.

Community safety partnership

Integrated Community Safety is a new approach to the way we work together, involving the Council, partner agencies (such as the Police, Fire & Rescue, and Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing) elected members and local people all working together to create a safer Kirklees.

Partnership problem solving groups in the four district areas of Batley & Spen, Rural, Dewsbury & Mirfield and Huddersfield are working together on key priorities to make communities safer. These are:

Reducing Crime and tackling anti-social behaviour

  • creating confident communities, where people feel safe and have confidence
  • Protecting people from serious harm such as domestic abuse, hate crime and child sexual exploitation

The underlying principle is to utilise partnership intelligence effectively to tackle problems at the earliest opportunity or ideally by preventing them from happening in the first place.

An example of this is the Huddersfield town centre crime reduction initiative focusing on theft from person, shoplifting alongside alcohol related crime in the night time economy. Co-ordinated by Safer Kirklees, this involved partner agencies such as West Yorkshire Police, CHART and voluntary supporting agencies working together to educate and safeguard individuals to tackle this issue and prevent offences.   We worked closely with retailers, progressing early interventions with the alleged offenders which resulted in an overall reduction in shop theft of 20%.

We have developed a protocol for addressing street drinking and vagrancy which will alleviate tensions from residents and retailers in the area and reduce offences committed in Dewsbury Town Centre. Yellow and Red warning letters will be distributed informing individuals of the consequences of their continued actions, and supporting information and signposting will be offered at the same time.

 

Safer Kirklees have utilised tools and powers to effectively address problematic tenancies where vulnerable individuals have effectively lost control of their tenancies. Closure Orders have been obtained in the Magistrates Court which preclude anyone apart from the actual resident accessing the property and any defined external areas. These orders have proved extremely successful in alleviating persistent anti-social behaviour and disorder associated with particular properties, and have given neighbours and residents much needed respite. They have also had the effect of allowing supporting agencies to interact successfully with the vulnerable individual in order for them to maintain a successful tenancy and receive the help they require.

Integrated working is an exciting area of work and is still in its infancy. Future plans include using digital technologies across organisational boundaries to simplify reporting and deploy multi agency teams.