Cllr Stone on NCC Safeguarding Report

I thank the independent chair for this annual report. It is brief but succinct and informative. Northamptonshire Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report ...

I have 5 areas of concern.

In my Borough Ward and in my County division there has recently been a lot of very welcome police and enforcement agency activity dealing with cannabis farms, gang related drug houses, illegal HIMOs, trafficking. My concern is that young care leavers are often housed in supported housing with external agencies in these areas of high crime. I believe this adds to their vulnerability. Anne Longford the national children’s commissioner has recently reported that she feels this type of provision is inappropriate. Is this an area the Board may wish to look at in terms of our safeguarding duty?

At the Board we receive reports from the police about Domestic Abuse. These reports are very useful and it is good to get the police point of view. However, the voluntary agencies that deal with domestic abuse all the time have a different story to tell. Would it be a good idea to have them produce an integrated report and present it at least annually directly to the board?

We are aware now that children are impacted by Domestic Abuse. Do Children’s and Adults safeguarding boards have a joined-up approach to this?

I am delighted to read in the report about the enhanced provision for mental health support with 2 mental health nurses working with the police. As a councillor and a local community activist I have found it really difficult to get mental health support for people in crisis, who I may have called on, who have presented themselves at the Guildhall, who I encounter on the streets, so this seems like a very important development.

Lastly, I have been very active supporting communities through Covid. I support the United African Association Food bank and help them deliver food parcels. I work closely with other voluntary organisations. I am distressingly aware of what until now has been hidden vulnerability. Hidden because of social isolation. Hidden because a lot of vulnerable people are afraid to ask for help, or don’t know help is available, or are too ill to ask. Is there training for voluntary organisations to help them understand this kind of need and when and how to report it?

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