One of my tasks for today was to attend a couple of meetings with our providers of home and residential care. The aim of the meetings was to give an overview of fees and costs for next year which is not a great story given the financial circumstances we are in; in particular it means we cannot give the sort of uplift that some would be looking for. I gave a short introduction to the meetings, giving the political perspective about Council finances and our prevention and transformation agenda in Adult Social Care and was also there to respond to questions.
I expected to be given a bit of a rough ride and was incredibly surprised by the response. Yes there was some concern about costs - actually the most significant concern was about the impact of fuel costs on our providers, which I pledged to write to Ministers about, but actually the meeting was really productive with providers talking as much about future possibilities and the willingness to work with us on the sort of transformation vision we have.
It really gave me heart that, although times are tough, the agenda we have as a County Council is the right one.