Shape the future of Stockport

Our vision sees us all working together to develop a Borough which is inclusive, caring, enterprising and full of ambition.

Through working together and supporting each other we can create a Borough which gives everyone a voice and an opportunity to celebrate its differences and where unique experiences can be shared. 

Find all the opportunities to get involved here – and let us know your thoughts on things that matter to you.

Open Activities and Consultations

  • Dialstone (Offerton) Leisure Centre Consultation

    Stockport Council is facing extreme financial pressures. These pressures mean that we have a number of difficult decisions to make. In November to December, we introduced a range of ideas to the public of Stockport as part of a public consultation. This second part of our budget consultation... More

    Closes 12 February 2023

  • Broadstone Road (Reddish) Highway Scheme – New Toucan Crossing

    We are proposing a new Toucan (signal-controlled, pedestrian and cyclist) Crossing on Broadstone Road, Reddish between Briarfield Road and Keswick Road. The crossing aims to support sustainable travel choices and improve safety of pedestrians and cyclists crossing Broadstone Road. ... More

    Closes 12 February 2023

  • Bramhall Lane Highway Scheme

    We have drafted highways proposals for the Bramhall Lane corridor between Blossoms Street and Windsor Street which aim to support sustainable travel choices and improve safety whilst maintaining and managing the performance of our existing transport network. This proposed scheme would... More

    Closes 12 February 2023

Closed Activities and Consultations

  • Road Safety around Schools – Woodley Primary School

    The Council’s overall strategic transport ambition is to increase the number of children walking or cycling to school to reduce congestion on roads, improve local air quality, and improve health outcomes. In order for this to be achieved, it is important that walking or cycling to school is... More

    Closed 31 January 2023

  • Public Space Protection Order Extension - Car Cruising

    Stockport Council put in place a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to deal with car cruising on 17 th March 2017. This followed on from significant concerns from residents and businesses about large scale gatherings of cars at Heaton Lane and Newbridge Lane car parks. In... More

    Closed 24 January 2023

  • Proposal to Close St Mary's RC Primary School (Roman Rd)

    OFSTED made a judgement in January 2022 that the quality of education provision provided by the school was not good enough, OFSTED placed the school into 'Special Measures'. As a result, an academy order was issued to the school. An Academy Order issued by the Secretary of State... More

    Closed 15 January 2023

  • Expedited Public Spaces Protection Order Consultation

    Stockport Council have introduced an Expedited Public Spaces Protection Order (E-PSPO) to Stockport. These orders aim to protect the public from harm that some protests in the vicinity of schools, vaccination centres and NHS Test and Trace (T and T) sites can cause. This... More

    Closed 3 January 2023

  • Ludworth Primary School – Traffic Regulation Order Amendments

    The Council has undertaken a review of the Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) in proximity to Ludworth Primary School in line with the Section 278 Agreement attached to the planning permission for the school extension. To reduce the impact of inconsiderate parking and to improve... More

    Closed 30 December 2022

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We asked

Participants were asked to consider the following eight proposed changes to the Adult Social Care Direct Payments Policy:

  1. Unspent funds - we will be more flexible when we look at any unspent funds in Direct Payment accounts. We will no longer automatically claim back unspent funds which are in excess of eight weeks. Instead, we will ask DP clients what their plans are for any unspent funds. For example, they may be planning to spend it later in the year on something that has been agreed will meet the outcomes in their support plan. If this is the case, they will be able to keep the money in their account until they need it.
  2. Support from family members - if we think it is necessary, DP clients will be able to ask a family member to manage their Direct Payment and for another family member to be paid to provide their support.  We have also deleted the section that said that a family member living in the same house as a DP client should only be paid to provide their support in exceptional circumstances.
  3. Using personal bank accounts – under the new policy it will be possible to have a Direct Payment paid into a personal bank account. Though we will continue to recommend that people set up a separate bank account as this will make it easier for them to administer DP monies and avoid them having to share generic details of other non-DP related financial transactions.
  4. Holiday costs - sometimes Direct Payments are used for respite, this means that DP clients might spend some time away from their carer, or the people they live with. They might choose a traditional form of respite, where support is offered on site. Or they may decide to go on holiday with their Personal Assistant or another family member or friend who doesn’t normally care for them. The new policy says that, with our agreement, they can, in liaison with their social worker, use their Direct Payment to pay towards travel and accommodation costs if they decide to go on holiday for respite where this has been identified as an outcome of their Care Act assessment. 
  5. Travel expenses - Direct Payments will not normally be used for daily travel expenses, but we may agree to fund reasonable travel expenses if we feel that DP clients need this because of their individual circumstances. 
  6. Paying for Council services and using DPs outside the UK – we have removed the statements that said that DP clients could not use their Direct Payment to pay for services from the council or to pay for things outside of the United Kingdom.
  7. Paying for leisure activities - we will support DP clients to explore leisure activities that they are interested in and enjoy where these will meet the outcomes included in their support plan. We will not rule out anything unless the items and activities they are suggesting do not meet the outcomes in their support plan. Principles of Best Value will also apply.
  8. Periods away from home – DP clients will no longer need to let us know of plans to spend time away from home.

You said

A total of 340 representations were received, with 259 responses from client/carers, 37 from members of staff and 44 from members of the public. A further 61 people were engaged through focus group discussions.

With overall agreement of fifteen percent for proposal three ‘Using a personal bank account’, this was the least agreeable of the eight proposals and was particularly unpopular with staff taking part in the consultation. Proposal six ‘Paying for Council services and using DPs outside the UK’ proved to be unpopular across all groups consulted, with just one in five staff agreeing with the proposal.

For clients and carers, proposal two ‘Support from family members’ proved to be the most agreeable with proposal one ‘Unspent funds’ and proposal four ‘Holiday costs’ a close second.

Strong themes have appeared throughout the consultation.

Responses about what people like about the proposals can be broadly set out into 3 categories:

  1. Flexibility and control

Across all proposals, a key theme was that the policy would give greater control and flexibility to the client. It will also give greater flexibility to staff members who will be able to be more creative and have more responsibility when writing support plans. It was noted that this needs to be communicated to practitioners so that support plans can be altered to reflect the flexibility.

  1. Mental health and wellbeing

Respondents largely felt that the proposed changes would improve their own, or the person they care for’s mental health and wellbeing. This was particularly prevalent on proposals relating to unspent funds and leisure activities.

  1. Cost of living

A key theme across the proposals was that the changes will help ease financial pressures felt by clients and carers. For example, travelling to appointments and other activities set out in the care plan, paying family members, and using Direct Payments to pay for leisure activities.

Responses about how the proposals could be improved can be broadly set out into 3 categories:

  1. Language around leisure

Respondents felt that the language under proposal seven: using your Direct Payment to pay for leisure activities could be rephrased. For example, the terms wellbeing or wellness should be used instead. Also, it was found that the language under proposal 6: paying for council services and spending your Direct Payment outside of the UK needs to be clearer.

  1. Clarity

A key theme across all proposals was that clarity and training is needed within the policy so that Practitioners can effectively and confidently write support plans and that clients and carers can confidently use their Direct Payment to fulfil their needs. Clarification is needed on proposal three that using the same bank is a choice, not a requirement and how this will be audited. Also, clear guidance on how Direct Payments can be used for holiday and/or respite, and travel. There also needs to be guidance on what leisure activities are acceptable and how this will be managed by practitioners. Furthermore, clarity is needed on whether there are any rules on people spending prolonged periods of time away from home. There also needs to be assurance that the policies will be linked to individual outcomes.

  1. Scope for misuse

Another key theme across the proposals was a concern for the possibility of proposals being open for misuse. This was particularly prevalent through the proposals relating to unspent funds and paying family members. Respondents felt that there needs to be a defined process to reduce the risk of misinterpretation as funds are derived from the public purse.

We did

Summary of the feedback we received and the action we plan to take in response to it:

Feedback

Action proposed in response to feedback

Repayment of monies reclaimed under old policy

The Council has already contacted just over one hundred clients and carers where any reductions in care were made under the old policy.  It has now reviewed the care needs for these clients and where necessary, reinstated support plans.  If you were negatively affected by the previous policy and we have not yet been in touch with you, then please call us on 0161 218 1450 or email us at dp.review@stockport.gov.uk and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Maintain consistent approach/interpretation of policy, and

practitioners to be informed about how support plans can be altered to allow flexibility

We have developed a staff training and communication plan.  This consists of a series of briefings for managers in Adult Social Care, followed by a training programme for all staff who work on direct payments in Adult Social Care.  We will also be providing updated written guidance and an e-learning training package for staff.    This training programme will also have a focus on how social workers can develop flexibility in support plans. 

Ensure that policy is not abused – e.g., Paying families and paying for leisure activities

We will monitor use of Direct Payment funds through our review and audit processes.  This involves an initial check by the Brokerage Service and the allocated social worker within the first six weeks of a payment. This is to assure the council that the service user understands their responsibilities and is coping well with the expected administration of the account. A formal audit will be undertaken at four months – this allows time for a pattern of spend to be established and for the first bank statement to arrive. If there are no issues with the first audit, they will be carried out every six months. 

Rephrase communication asking for repayments to avoid stress to families

We have already started to review all our correspondence to Direct Payment clients to ensure that it is written in a way that doesn’t cause unnecessary stress.  We will share our revised documentation with the Stockport Advocacy Group to seek their feedback on our changes.

Clarification needed that using the same bank account is a choice, not a requirement, and

clarification on how using same bank account for DP will be managed in terms of audit

We recognise that further guidance is needed for people using personal bank accounts to manage Direct Payments.   We are in the process of developing this guidance, which will also include details of the processes we will use for auditing spend.

Guidance on how Direct Payments can be used for holidays and/or respite

We are currently working on improving the guidance and developing some examples to be included in our new policy.

Guidance on what kind of travel Direct Payments can be used for i.e., to what places, what form of transport and fair travel costs

We will be improving our guidance and providing examples in the new policy. 

Paying for council services and spending your Direct Payment outside of the UK language needs to be clearer, and

guidance on using Direct Payments outside of UK will be managed by practitioners

Examples will be included in the new policy and guidance will be provided for practitioners.

Term ‘leisure’ re worded under proposal 7, and

guidance on what leisure activities are acceptable and how this will be managed by practitioners

We have removed the word ‘leisure’ from the Direct Payment Policy because we felt it was misleading, instead we will refer to wellbeing activities to meet a person’s assessed outcomes under the Care Act.  We feel this provides clearer guidance for clients and carers.   We will not be providing a list of which activities are acceptable as we feel that this is dependent on assessed care act needs and finding the best activity to help an individual meet those needs.  However, we will still provide a list of activities that are not acceptable in the policy, such as those that involve gambling or alcohol.

Guidance on whether there are any rules on people spending prolonged time away from home

We will not be introducing any rules regarding prolonged periods away from home.

 

We asked

We asked for your views on the potential introducton of a prebooked minimum journey free for Hackney Carriages.

You said

There were real concerns regarding the proposal from people who either use hackney carriages or who are carers for people who use hackney carriages.  Your told us of your concerns around the increased cost associated with a prebooked fare.

Yout said that you felt aggrieved by the proposal for a prebooked minimum fare and their response is that they would use private hire instead.

We did

Results indicated concerns from service users regarding  the request for the introduction of a  minimum fare to be charged for prebooked hackney carriage journeys.

The concerns were re-laid to the hackney carriage trade association who have decided to withdraw their request for a prebooked minimum fare from the current fare review.

The hackney carriage trade association have asked the Council to undertake research with other local  authorities to see if any similar schemes operate successfully in other council areas, so that the matter may be considered in any future hackney carriage fare review

We asked

We asked how far you agreed or disagreed with the Stockport Active Communities Strategy principles, approach, priority groups and action priorities.

You said

There were a total of 94 responses to the online survey. 69.15% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the proposed whole systems approach; 67.03% either agreed or strongly agreed with the proposed principles and approach; 70.22% either agreed or strongly agreed with the identified priority groups and 29.79% respondents felt that there were some action priorities missing. The key themes arising from the survey were that everyone needs to be included and that accessibility and inclusivity is of upmost importance. It is also about getting everyone involved through good communications and leading by example. 

We did

The next stage of development is the implementation plan and that is the stage when we will not only consider in detail what we propose to do to further support and facilitate activity for our priority groups but also consider how to measure impact.

Find out more

For information about Stockport you can visit the Stockport Council website.

To have your say on Greater Manchester-wide initiaves you can visit the GMCA consultation site.