The Isle of Wight council cabinet member who is planning to scrap Local Area Coordinators, features in video footage from just a few months ago praising the service and its results.
Cllr Clare Mosdell has said the local authority will have to scrap the service because the public health budget cannot continue to fund the project, which costs just under £400,000 a year to run.
Mosdell: “Not sterile talk we’ve had in past”
However in the footage shot earlier (watch below) this year at Quay Arts in Newport Cllr Mosdell appears highly enthusiastic, saying,
“Today is really important that we get the message of the great work that our Local Area Coordination project has had results now and showing that it can make a difference to the community.
“So it is really, really important that we can share that message across other councils and local authorities.
“For me, it’s the fact that we are doing something different. I have this philosophy, it’s a line that I use a lot, which is if we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always got, whereas the local coordinators identify within the community what residents really need and they approach them, but they use a different language than other services.
“It’s not that sterile talk that we’ve had in the past.”
OnTheWight posed questions to Cllr Mosdell this lunchtime, but at time of publishing had not heard back, so will update here once she replies.
Discrepancy over restrictions of ‘licence’
Last week, the national network, Community Catalysts, said each Local Area Co-ordinator (there are nine of them) has saved the council around £500,000 over three years.
As well as the £400,000pa cost to run the service, the council also pays a yearly licence of £9,000, which has been operating on the Island since 2015.
Cllr Mosdell said,
“As such, we are dictated to by the rules of that licence, such as the salaries that are paid and the amount of residents that can be looked after. This does not allow us to adapt to change or manage the project ourselves under such constraints.”
However, as reported earlier today, Chief executive of Community Catalysts — which hosts the national network of LAC programmes — Sian Lockwood said the service did not operate under a licence.
“It is just guidance. We would not kick the Isle of Wight out of the service if they wanted to change the terms of operation.”
Lockwood: Really complex needs
Ms Lockwood added,
“These LACs are embedded in the community and are able to reach and help people who otherwise might not be accessing services. Other services recommended by the council are different, and might not be able to reach people with really complex needs.”
You can see the footage in full below.
Image and video: © Tom Stroud