Christmas Eve brief: £7m thank you to Northamptonshire carers
Plus some news in brief and regular feature Independent of the Week
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Merry Christmas, from Natalie and Sarah xx
Northamptonshire’s 12,000 plus carers have been thanked by the two unitary authorities and health sector with a £600 bonus.
The bonus will cost the public sector £7.25m to thank all of the county’s carers who have been working at the forefront of the Covid pandemic, often for minimum pay. The bonus will go to those working in the public and independent sector. It is hoped the bonus will help retain exhausted staff and recruit more.
As NN Journal reported in the summer, many carers said they were at breaking point after looking after people for 18 months and often having to cover shifts for others who were self isolating.
The funding has been pooled largely from government funding, with £508,907 being taken from the Contain Covid Management Fund, £5,236,093 from the Social Care Workforce Retention Fund and the Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group has also given £750,000.
The two Conservative leaders of the North and West unitaries Cllr Jonathan Nunn and Cllr Jason Smithers said the carers needed to be reward for their work, with Cllr Nunn saying: “We acknowledge, and know only too well, that the care staff workforce is overworked, underpaid, and exhausted at a time when the demand for adult social care in the county has risen so sharply.”
The care workforce is significantly under where it is needed. West Northamptonshire Council put out a call for volunteers to help out earlier this month and the chief executive of the county’s two hospitals Simon Weldon has said something radical must be done to increase the numbers of carers in Northamptonshire, as it is having an impact on discharging patients back to their homes.
News in brief
Despite telling the BBC she had resigned, absent North Northamptonshire councillor Annabel de Capell Brooke has still not formally tendered her resignation and remains a member of the authority. As revealed by NN Journal last week the Conservative has attended only four of the 19 meetings she should have and has not called any meetings of the employment committee, of which she is chair and has received more than £2000 in payment.
There are local rumours that Cllr de Capell Brooke, who now lives in Norfolk, is holding off her resignation for local political reasons; as shown by the North Shropshire MP by-election, the Conservative party is not currently doing well with voters.
Questions have been raised over West Northamptonshire’s decision to borrow £20m to complete Northampton’s North West relief road. The council was hoping to use money from the government’s Levelling Up fund towards the project but its bid was unsuccessful. The work which will connect the A428 Harlestone Road with the A5199 Welford Road is expected to cost £54.5m in total. Deputy shadow leader of West Northants Emma Roberts took to Twitter this week to say she had a number of concerns.
“I questioned and didn’t get a reply on how far we got with funding, what the feedback on failure was and why, when the authority knew in August it had failed in the fund bid it couldn’t go to full council. A decision of this magnitude should be before full council,” she said.
Independent of the Week
Irvin's House of Flavour, Wellingborough
An independent Tea & Coffee Merchant, this family run business has been based in Wellingborough since 2003. Due to Covid, the Shop on High Street is not operating its usual opening hours but products can be purchased online here https://www.irvins.co.uk/ContactOrdering
🕯 Christmas Eve Carols by candlelight at the Elwes Arms in Northampton. Hosted by Rev Haydon Spenceley, this festive event starts at 8pm this evening.
🎵 There will also be carols at the Market Place in Oundle today at 4pm.
🌳 You can still visit the nature winter trail at Stanwick Lakes which will run until early January. Win a Christmas prize by learning about the winter wildlife at Stanwick Lakes in this seasonal themed trail. £3 per trail leaflet. Booking is not required.
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