Sixty Second Interview with Jeni Bremner
By Amy Taylor
Jeni Bremner is programme director of education and social policy at the Local Government Association. Here she speaks to Amy Taylor about the LGA’s annual conference which is happening this week in Harrogate.
I think that a range of social services issues will come up at the conference, not only between delegates talking about how they are approaching the new children’s and adults agenda, but also there are sessions on extended schools, the children act and district councils, tackling domestic violence plus looking at Gershon and the efficiency agenda.
David Miliband, minister of communities and local government is speaking on Friday. What are you hoping he will discuss?
The leadership role of local government and building strong communities and how government will address the council tax crisis and the shortfall in local government funding.
The conference’s theme is ‘improving life in local communities’. Some of the outcomes the government wants adult social care to achieve listed in the adult green paper, improved health, improved quality of life, making a positive contribution, exercise of choice and control, freedom from discrimination or harassment, economic well-being and personal dignity, go beyond the traditional outcomes associated with social services and health in order to achieve this. Do you think these outcomes are appropriate?
Yes we do and we have lobbied for an approach to social care the focuses on the wellbeing for the users of services.
The adult green paper identifies high quality leadership at both officer and member level in local government as key to its plans. Will how to strengthen leadership be discussed at the conference?
Leadership is a theme that runs throughout the conference, for example in sessions on community cohesion and community leadership, innovation, championing the needs of local learners and families.
How do you think people can be encouraged to become involved in local politics?
Engaging with local people and communities underpins the development of the new children’s and adult’s social care services. This can be a powerful way to involve people to become involved in local politics.