We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We Asked

We are trying to find out what you think about Sheffield's parks, green spaces and woodlands

You Said

The data hasn't yet been fully analysed, however it is forming a crucial part of an open space project which is been carried out via an external organisation through Regeneration and Development Services and will influence the work we do here at Parks and Countryside moving forwards. We will be utilising feedback to help us plan park improvements and will be looking at the survey in more detail in the coming period.

We Did

Where improvements are proposed for sites e.g. project work – we have been utilising site specific comments to influence plans and to identify customer need.  Where customers have provided their details we have been able to contact them with further surveys and information which directly relate to their local area (looking at postcodes). Maintenance and management tasks have been carried out as a result of some comments (e.g. review of footpath and encroaching vegetation at Beighton Marsh and Sheffield Standard reassessment)– including forwarding of some suggestions / comments to the Public Rights of Way Team for action / information.

We Asked

The consultation asked for feedback on proposed changes to Sheffield City Council's Corporate Grant Aid, that provides grant funding for voluntary sector activity, which would take effect from April 2017. The consultation asked for feedback both on principles and priorities for the proposed funds and on process issues.

You Said

There were 71 responses to the online consultation, including from 14 current Grant Aid recipient organisations.

There was clear preference for multi-year grant awards and for funding to still be available to support core costs. VCF representation on the grant award advisory panel was also welcomed, although there wasconcern about how such a representative would be recruited. There was general support for a shift to an outcomes focused approach, although a range of concerns were identified in the sector's readiness to think about their services in terms of outcomes and what support would be available and whether the data and evidence gathering required would be proportionate to the funding available and whether it would detract from service delivery.

 

 

We Did

The responses having given a steer to the following decisions:

  • Generally Funding agreements will be offered for 3-years for all grant aid funds, except the Lunch Club Fund, which will offer 2-year grants.
  • The general principle when considering the grant award amount will be to award the full amount requested rather than to make a partial award to more organisations.
  • The minimum grant award will be £10,000 rather than the proposed £15,000.
  • VCF representation will be included on the award recommendation panel.  Further consideration will be given to the method of recruitment.
  • Consultation did not provide a clear steer on favoured  priorities for the infrastructure fund, therefore the proposed fund will invite applications against the original four proposed priorities.
  • Applicants to the infrastructure fund will be expected to prioritise any grant funded service to organisations that represent and work with the most disadvantaged communities or in the most deprived areas of the city.
  • There was a clear preference not to exclude organisations currently in receipt of Grant Aid to be able to apply to the Tackling Inequalities Fund, therefore organisations who currently get Grant Aid funding will be able to apply to this fund, which will be open for applications in 2017 and will make awards from July 2017.
  • Consideration will be given to how the application form and assessment criteria can ensure sucessful applications can demonstrate they are cohesion building.
  • The feedback from the consultation will inform how outcome measures are agreed with successful applicants.

 

 

We Asked

The survey asked a number of questions that relate to local services.  The have been agreed with local councillors from the ward.  We asked people to suggest how satisfied they are with these services, and provided some space for additional information about their neighbourhood and what can be done to make it an even better place to live.

You Said

Participant where asked to show how satisfies they are with each of the following: Advice Services (Including debt advice); Activities for Teenagers; Housing; Street Cleanliness; Community Activities; Access to the Internet; Education Provision – Including Adult Learning; Facilities for Young Children; Health Services; Job Prospects; Parks, Open Spaces, Sports and Leisure;  and Public Transport.

The survey shows there is high level of dissatisfaction with activities for children of all ages and a feeling that there is a lack of suitable play facilities in particular.  ‘Street Cleanliness’ also scored high on dissatisfaction, as did access to ‘Public Transport’.  Overall ‘Clean Streets’ and ‘Public Transport’ were identified as the highest priorities for the area.

We Did

The East Local Area Partnership has since held a roadshow event with representative from the services highlighted in the survey,  this has enabled them to respond directly to local residents.  The information from the survey has also fed into the process for identifying the priorities for the Manor and Castle Ward, for the period 2016/17. The ward priorities are used to help members make decisions about how they allocate ‘Ward Pot’ funding.  

You can read more about the East LAP, ‘Ward Priorities’ and ‘Ward Pots’ by following this link https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/your-local-area/east.html

We Asked

As part of consultation on the City Council’s budget for 2016-17, our survey invited people to have their say on the following areas:

  • What services do you want the Council to concentrate on protecting now and in the future?
  • Ideas or comments about how the financial pressure on services in Sheffield should be handled?
  • Impact of the changes the Council has had to make?

You Said

The survey elicited a range of views from 100 respondents. The vast majority were concerned about how the need to spend less money on services in Sheffield would affect them. Most frequent responses on handling the financial pressure related to reducing management/admin costs and making further efficiencies, alongside reviewing contracts, more community run services, focussing on core services and the most vulnerable, and getting people into employment. Other suggestions included increasing Council Tax, lobbying government, increasing digital/automation, selling off assets, focussing on upstream prevention, more recycling, and encouraging business/devolution. There were also comments around appreciation of the scale of the challenge, the need for care over choice of cuts, as well as some views that some of the cuts should have been done earlier.

We also asked people about how changes had impacted on them personally, on their neighbourhoods and on the city as a whole. 85% of people who responded to the survey reported that they had seen an impact, although a small but significant proportion of people didn’t feel they had felt any impact as a result of the cuts to the council’s budget.

The most frequently mentioned areas of impact from changes included waste collection, social care, libraries, public transport, and roads. Other frequently mentioned areas included litter and street cleaning, lack of progress on city centre regeneration, youth services, parks, and physical activity/sports activities.

Budget priorities have been influenced by consultation activity undertaken over recent years that has consistently confirmed public support for protecting services for the most vulnerable. This year public feedback on our guiding principles has supported our approach to:

  • operate efficiently as an organisation
  • develop solutions for the longer term
  • take early preventative action
  • focus on people with the greatest need
  • work with our communities to deliver services in a different way

Other significant areas that people wanted the Council to concentrate on protecting, now and in the future, included Parks, Housing, Transport & Roads, Education, Employment, and Libraries.

 

We Did

The budget survey, public consultation events and consultation with people about proposals on particular areas elicited an extensive range of comments which helped to inform our overall thinking on the budget.

Further details on the consultation including a short video, details of our Budget Implementation Plans for 2013/14 to 2015/16, presentations from the public events in November 2015 and January 2016, and feedback on other budget related consultations can be found at:

Sheffield City Council budget 2016/17: Have your say

Details of the City Council’s Revenue Budget and Capital Programme 2016/17 passed at the Council Meeting on 4th March 2016 can be found at:

Sheffield City Council – Budget Council, Friday 4 March 2016

We Asked

The survey included a number of open questions about the proposed Agreement, enabling respondents to offer written (ie. free text) comments, questions and thoughts without the limitations of tick box responses.  The survey was also designed to be non-linear, ensuring that people could answer the questions that most interested them and ignore the ones that did not.

The online consultation ran from 2nd December 2015 to 15th January 2016 and attracted 245 responses from across SCR. 

Further, it is important to recognise that while the survey provides an important and useful perspective of people in SCR on the devolution proposals, it is a relatively small sample and is relatively unrepresentative of some key population groups (eg. under 25s).

You Said

Key trends and perspectives from the responses:

  • Positive support throughout for principle of stronger local control of decision-making
  • Recognition of the impact that specific policy areas could have on SCR and the local economy
  • Negative perceptions of the need for an elected mayor – mainly due to creation of additional bureaucracy; complexity with existing arrangements; outcome of 2012 city mayor referenda
  • Real need for clarity about the geographical scope of the mayoral arrangement and powers, particularly for East Midlands districts
  • Positive about potential for more devolution, particularly once the current set of proposals have been implemented. Suggestions are ambitious and radical including tax raising powers, all skills, public transport, education and health.

We Did

You can find the Initial feedback (Powerpoint), the Report to Full Council Sheffield City Region (SCR) Devolution Agreement: Ratification of the Proposal, and a Summary of the Consultation Results at the front of this consultation.

We Asked

We consulted on the 1st stage of making the Sheffield Plan, the City-wide Options for Growth to 2034, from 11 November 2015 to 15 January 2016. 

You Said

Summaries of the responses received on the Citywide Options for Growth document are now available.

The 'Executive Summary of the Responses on the City-wide Options' presents an overview of the main issues raised on the entire consultation.  

The 'Summary of Responses to the Consultation Questions on the City-wide Options' presents a summary of the key issues raised under each of the consultation questions. 

We Did

Please see above the summaries produced.  We are now assessing these and will produce a Consultation Report setting out our responses to the main issues raised. This will be available in January 2017 when we consult on the draft Sheffield Plan.

The consultation responses are being used to help shape the more detailed policies and proposals in the draft Plan.

There will be a further period of public consultation in autumn 2017 on a full draft plan and a public examination will take place later that year (when an independent Inspector will consider any objections to the Plan).

We aim to formally adopt the Sheffield Plan in 2018.

We Asked

Overview

Sheffield City Council worked with a wide range of partners and agencies in order to produce the new ‘Young Carer, Parent and Adult Carer Strategy (the Strategy) together. This included carers, who are experts due to their experience of caring for someone. We used carers’ feedback to help decide how we should plan to make things better for carers from now until 2020. The Strategy and other documents providing further background can be downloaded here:

https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/caresupport/carers/carers-strategy.html

The Strategy has 6 principles, these are the foundations that we will go back to in order to drive our actions and develop services that are needed to improve carers’ lives.   

A carer is ‘Somebody who provides support or who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their age, physical or mental illness, or disability. This would not usually include someone paid or employed to carry out that role, or someone who is a volunteer.’ (Care and Support Statutory Guidance).

We have spoken to many carers over the last 6 months to help understand what we should focus on and prioritise for carers who live in Sheffield. The feedback has been used to give direction to the Strategy and it is also helping Sheffield City Council think about what services we need to buy to help and support our carers. We have produced a document called a Commissioning Plan that gives detail about our plans for future services that the Council will pay for. We have also use the information from the questionnaires carers completed to plan how we can best support carers using the money we have.

We Asked

In the questionnaire and when we’ve been talking to carers we have asked what carers think about the services that currently help them. We also asked about how future services could work. The feedback has helped us create detailed plans that respond to what carers have been telling us they need. We asked about current services, to help us understand what is working well or not working well so we can take the learning into future services. We also wanted to know if carers understood their rights to an assessment now the Care Act has been passed into law.

You Said

Carers told us that:

  1. Future support services should link with health services to help identify and get information to carers sooner.
  1. Information should be relevant and timely.
  1. They want short breaks from caring.
  1. Support to plan for emergencies is needed.
  1. They want help to stay well through regular health checks.
  1. The Carers Centre newsletter is the most important existing service (showing the value of good information).
  1. They don’t always know what existing services are available.
  1. Health and social care systems are difficult to understand.
  1. At times practical support like help to fill in forms would be really useful.
  1. A number of carers said they don’t realise their right to a carer’s assessment.
  1. Caring can have a negative impact financially.

 

We Did

We are responding to what you said by:

1. Working with our existing carer support services to strengthen links with health services. We will also think about how we can work closely with health services when we fund our next carer support service(s). Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group can also help us to support carers better and are key partners in developing the action plans which will be created in response to the Carers’ Strategy.

2. Having a principle in the new strategy which seeks to improve access to relevant and timely information. This will be addressed in the action plan. Our new ‘Sheffield Directory’ (online information portal) is being developed with carers to make sure it meets their information needs. The carers section of the Sheffield Directory can be found here: http://www.sheffielddirectory.org.uk/kb5/sheffield/directory/adult.page?adultchannel=2

 How we link with health services and provide information to carers e.g. newsletter will be picked up by our commissioning Plan too.

3. Currently offering a respite service provided by Making space and there is a Short Breaks Fund for carers which can be applied for via the Carers Centre. We will continue to talk with carers about what they need in terms of short break services and this will help us complete our Commissioning Plan which will help to create future short break services. There is also a short breaks advice page on the Sheffield Directory which can be found here: http://www.sheffielddirectory.org.uk/kb5/sheffield/directory/advice.page?id=3gnrIpie3hQ

4. Providing additional support to complete the ‘In Safe Hands’ emergency plan available now through Making Space respite hubs as well as the carers centre (if needed). Further information on In Safe Hands can be found here: http://sheffieldcarers.org.uk/in-safe-hands/

5. Working with health services when creating the detailed action plans for the carers’ strategy. How we can support carers to access health checks will be planned in more detail.

6. Taking this into account when we decide what our future carers services should provide.

7. Addressing this with the Strategy action plan, which will seek to improve how easy it is to access information so carers can be aware of what support services are available. How new services are marketed will also be considered in the Commissioning Plan. We will continue to work with carers to help us provide solutions.

8. Setting up a Carers Service Improvement Forum so carers can discuss Adult social Care issues so that things can be improved. There are now Carer Champions within social work teams. Both the Strategy and the Commissioning Plan will help to improve how easy it is for carers to get information about and move through health and social care.

9. Expanding support to get help completing forms as Making Space will now also do this via their respite hubs which carers can attend. The Carers in Sheffield service can also provide support completing forms. This need will be something that is considered when we commission our future support services;

10. Working with social workers to make sure they’re offering assessments to carers and know how to explain the benefits of having one. There is also a carer’s champion that social workers can discuss any queries they have with. Carers understanding their rights is a principle of the new Carers Strategy and we will be developing more detailed plans to improve this during 2016. Advice is also being given by our current carer support services Carers in Sheffield and the respite service provided by Making Space.

11. In Summer 2016 we will launch a Carers Access Card. With this scheme carers get a card and then all shops that sign up to the scheme provide a discount to carers when they produce the card. Carers can also find information on the Carers UK national carer discount scheme CarerSmart here: https://www.carersmart.org/