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County council leader keen to help residents “live the lives they want” in 2018

The leader of Staffordshire County Council says helping residents in Lichfield and Burntwood to “have money in their pocket to lead the lives they want” will be the authority’s key focus in 2018.

Cllr Philip Atkins, who has led the Conservative-controlled council since 2009, made his comments in a New Year message to other authorities and public services across the region.

Cllr Philip Atkins. Pic: M Holland

Cllr Philip Atkins. Pic: M Holland

He added that economic growth would help people to help themselves.

“Ensuring people are in work and have money in their pocket to lead the lives they want remains the most important thing we can do to improve family incomes and reduce demand on public services in a time of tighter funding,” Cllr Atkins said.

“In recent years the county council has been increasingly honest that we can no longer afford all the things we used to do or would like to do.

“We need to find different ways of working that help people to help themselves, take greater personal responsibility for their own lives, health and wellbeing, and greater responsibility for improving their own communities.

“Get this right, and reduce demand on public services, and we can target the resources we have at the people who really need them.”

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1 Comment

  1. Steve Norman

    4th January, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    What nonsense!

    Cllr Atkins can’t complain about the lack of funding for councils when he and his comrades go out at election times to help get the very MP’s, like Michael Fabricant, who then vote to cut local government funding.

    In our area disabled people are now being moved from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Nationally 80 per cent of applicants to PIP are being turned down at the first hurdle! The County Council’s own social workers and the Government’s own website suggest claimants to get help from their local Citizen’s Advice. But they are struggling to help people thanks to – Cllr Atkins’ cut to Staffordshire CAB services!

    To then suggest we the residents should reduce the demand on public services is also a bit rich when his Conservative Council cut the Handyperson Service that helped vulnerable older residents avoid standing on chairs to change light bulbs and ending up in A & E!
    No doubt they will put up the council tax to the maximum allowed by law (- .01% despite their promises in 2009) to add to the never ending cuts in services in April.