Agency partnership hopes to help elderly and disabled

SCARBOROUGH Council is to consider creating a single agency to help older, disabled and vulnerable people.

The new arrangements would mean the council would cover not only Scarborough but Ryedale district administrative areas as well.

A report to be considered by the council’s Cabinet next week says the Scarborough Home Improvement Agency (HIA), a non-profit making organisation, was established in 2001.

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It says there are advantages in developing a single Scarborough Borough/Ryedale district agency as well as creating a partnership agreement between the two councils including joint governance arrangements.

If agreed the borough council would act as lead authority for the delivery of this new partnership in which guise it would act as employer and manager of the service.

The council’s head of environmental services, Andy Skelton, says there are a number of advantages to be had if the scheme gets the go-ahead.

He said: “The key driver behind this proposal is to sustain local service delivery, by making a stronger case to secure external funding.

“Whilst it is hoped that small cashable savings will be derived from this proposal, efficiences to be gained are likely to result in the new partnership being better placed to competitively tender for externally funded contracts...

“The real benefit of this proposal is to ensure that both councils are better placed to access the external funding needed in order to both sustain and potentially expand service delivery.”

On potential job losses he said: “Should a single HIA be established then this would have implications for staff currently employed within Ryedale District Council’s existing HIA.”

Scarborough Council portfolio holder Bill Chatt said: “North Yorkshire County Council are looking to deal with fewer partners so therefore we are engaged in looking at partnerships.

“To be honest Scarborough run a very successful agency so we would look to partner up with our neighbour councils and our natural partner would be Ryedale.

“A lot of work needs to be done – we need to sort it out before next April so it is a matter of priority. But it has to work not only for ourselves but our partners too.”