A week at Dorset County Council

I am very fortunate to have some really interesting and challenging roles at the County Council.  The the last week started with ensuring the right course is taken to ensure public health in Dorset is given the most effective scrutiny of what it is doing.  Opening the Community Maiden Newton Childcare Provision building – the work that was done by the staff with Dorset CC has shown that devolving to communities can have a fantastic outcome and gives rise to greater opportunities.   The Health and Wellbeing Board is now three years old, and we have taken the move to look at what it has achieved and what the ambition of this unique grouping can do in the short and long term – we do not want to just be a talking shop and I believe there has been some great partnership work but plenty more to do.  Linking the public health objectives and prevention work of the fire and rescue service is progressing fantastically, there are some really great opportunities to help the people to live safely in their own homes.  The Dorset County Council Cabinet met with a full agenda and again, my focus is on early help and prevention wherever possible for all that the council is working on.  There were many local resident matters to attend to, one of them is prevalent across the county and takes up a great deal of time which I am sure we could look at to bring about quicker results and that is of public rights of way.  Some footpaths and bridleways have naturally moved slightly from their original course, because on the ground people find the best route.  Where this happens and there is local support I believe there should be a pragmatic approach rather than endless discussion and everyone getting frustrated due to the unintended consequence of some legislation – perhaps a change is needed here and I think both the officers, Councillors and the public would welcome that.  Finally, it is great to be working with the CCG to discuss what community based health services we need in Dorset, more will follow on that but there is great progress.

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