Giving Voice

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Engaging with the Council

Yesterday I went to County Hall, Morpeth to meet with local councillor Marcia Bircham (Haydon Ward, Northumberland County Councillor). We discussed Giving Voice and Speech and Language Therapy. She was already aware of some of the work of the profession but did not realise how wide spread this is.

The meeting lasted about 15 minutes and I left 3 copies of the councillor ‘leave behind’ information sheet (from RCSLT), which she is going to read and then pass onto the Executive member for Children and the Executive member for adults (both of whom I have previously written to). I also left the executive summary and England Appendices (for savings) of the Matrix Evidence Report. I left a number of leaflets and a couple of pens.

I felt the meeting was productive and I feel confident that she will read the information and then share it will the relevant people. Hopefully when the Executive members see the Giving Voice information on their desk it will remind them of the letter and previous email that I sent them. J Ms Bircham tells me that August is a quiet month in terms of the council (no scrutiny committees etc) so hopefully they will have time to read and digest the information.

So far I am finding it difficult to engage with councillors as they are so busy. However, it is worth persevering, as for me, this did result in a meeting. Hopefully, I can meet some more councillors in the coming months (I am going to contact other members of the Health and Well Being Board for Northumberland, as these boards will be a powerful new player in health and are a forum to encourage local commissioners to work together.)

If you haven’t already written to any of your councillors, why not do something about it now? There is a list of information on the Giving Voice website to assist with engaging with councillors. The RCSLT are happy to help if you have any questions and if there is anything I can do to help just let me know. J You can find out about your local councillors at yourboroughname.gov.uk.  
Cllr Marcia Bircham supporting Giving Voice

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