Child-friendly Torbay where children can grow into thriving young adults

Torbay Weekly

Average energy bills per household are expected to rise by nearly £1,100 in some areas compared to March last year, according to analysis of ONS data by the Lib Dems.

The Chancellor’s proposals delay some of the pain but are confusing many residents with the £150 rebate on council tax.

There are 4,597 houses in Torbay who pay no council tax, mainly pensioners on low incomes.

However, despite the £150 being referred to as a rebate, I understand that the council will be making payments to residents in band A-D of £150 to help with energy bills.

Guidance from the Government is yet to come out and we will update residents as soon as we get this.

The Lib Dems' cost of living rescue package would cut people’s bills by around £1,000.

We would offer support to the most vulnerable, funded through a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on the super profits of the oil and gas companies.

And we would scrap the Conservative National Insurance tax hike that will kick families when they’re already down.

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week.

Covid-19 has had a massive impact on the lives of children and young people, something I have experienced first-hand with my son who has been 17 and 18 through the pandemic.

Nationally, in the last three years, the likelihood of young people having mental health problems has increased by 50 per cent. which is why we remain committed to creating a child-friendly Torbay where we can lay foundations for children to grow into thriving young adults.

We are listening to the needs of those using our services.

Feedback from our joint work with Coram Voice in April 2021, shows that 19 per cent of the 58 per cent of our care-experienced young people who responded were more likely to report feeling lonely ‘often or always’; 22 per cent found it hard to feel proud, 21 per cent found it hard to feel optimistic and about a third of respondents reported high levels of anxiety.

However, we were pleased to learn that 99 per cent reported having someone in their lives who they could turn to for emotional support.

In light of these findings, we are continually working together with Family Action Listening Works to provide an out of hours helpline for care-experienced young people, giving immediate emotional support when needed.

We are implementing bespoke and individualised plans of support to promote their emotional health and wellbeing in a way which works specifically for them.

We have also introduced an Act of Kindness and Celebrating Achievement nomination scheme, to help our care experienced young people celebrate and recognise those smaller acts of kindness as moments that they should feel proud of.

The funding we provide in partnership with the Torbay Wellbeing Service has also helped offer wellbeing cafes, counselling and therapy sessions and drop-ins for young people.

More than 300 young people accessed the service between April and September.

We know that early intervention, mental health services and support for all children, coupled with continuing support into young adulthood, can help reduce the need for long-term adult mental health services in the future.

We want to continue to support our local communities as much as we can, and this is reflected in our 2022/23 budget proposals.

Thank you to everyone who has given us their views.

The consultation ends this week, and we will now carefully consider all your feedback given through the consultation and on the council’s social media channels.

Thank you to everyone who also took part in our Facebook Live event.

Unfortunately, we were unable to answer all your questions on the night, but we’ve tried to respond to as many outstanding questions as possible.

Cabinet will use your feedback to finalise its budget proposals on February 22 and they will then be considered by full council on March 3 when the council tax will be agreed.