Helping people with substance misuse issues turn their lives around

Tackling drug and alcohol misuse and helping people affected by it to get their lives back on track is a top priority for the Staffordshire Strategic Partnership.

I saw this in action for myself last week at the opening of the brand new Recovery House and Langan’s tea rooms in Cannock.  The house helps people access short term accommodation and support, whilst the Tea rooms give clients volunteering and employment opportunities and the chance to learn new skills, make friends and meet with members of the public.

We were joined by Secretary of State for Work and pensions, Iain Duncan Smith who is a big supporter of the approach and he cut the ribbon to officially open the new centre.

The house is being run by the Burton Addiction Centre, recognised as one of the best residential rehabilitation services in the country.  Working closely with partners, our Public health team continue to invest in alcohol and drug services across Staffordshire and the house is a great example of an innovative approach helping to reduce the number of alcohol related hospital admissions.  We estimate that around 400 people will benefit from the project, which will also actively engage families in the recovery process to give those dealing with addictions the best chance to recover and maintain their recovery.

The county council is responsible for many different services and areas of people’s lives.  Managing much of the county’s green spaces, country parks and picnic areas is one of these crucial roles that the council plays.

The reason we live in a shire rural county is our countryside and it is this that makes Staffordshire such a wonderful place to live, work and visit.  Working closely with local organisations and volunteers, we want to ensure that these spaces are looked after for people’s pleasure and are protected so that future generations have the same enjoyment.

Visitor numbers to many of our sites have increased hugely in recent years, which is great news but more usage pushes up the costs of maintaining and protecting some of the more sensitive areas.  We need to explore new ways of maintaining and protecting the green spaces that people love so much.  We are already talking to our partners including the Forestry Commission, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, parish councils and users’ groups to help us find the best ways to protect the estate.  Our options include keeping management with the county council, partnerships with organisations from the public, voluntary and private sectors or the carefully managed development of some sites which have limited public access and use.

If approved by Cabinet later in the month, we would start 12 weeks of consultation in November. This is not about transferring ownership, but finding ways of managing the estate better. I do hope people will take part in the discussions so together we can find the best way of preserving and protecting our much loved countryside estate for future generations to enjoy.

Comments are closed.