Dales District Council change the Care Leaver Definition and pass the Council Tax Exemption for Care Leavers.

Dales District Council change the Care Leaver Definition and pass the Council Tax Exemption for Care Leavers.

I want to go home tonight knowing that I have made a difference. We should not just nod our heads and do what we are told, we are the council and we are in charge. I want us to make this happen tonight” Cllr Colin Swindell, South Dales District Council

“No Reduction will be made for Care Leavers of other Authorities living within the area”

I am so proud of the councillors at Derbyshire Dales District Council tonight as they rejected discrimination and spoke passionately one by one in cross party support of my amendment proposal to the Care Leavers Council tax Exemption which was on the agenda.

Paul Wilson, Chief Executive of the district council spoke about his meeting with Terry Galloway earlier in the week, commenting how there had not been any co-ordination to create a County wide offer and that they had not understood the context of the Council Tax Exemption and the wider Care Leaver Offer.

But now after the meeting with Terry, he was fully behind what he was doing and has offered himself up as an advocate for Care Leavers at the Chief Execs Level. He went on to say he is going to push for a wider offer which will realise Mr Galloway’s objectives because it will benefit us all.

The full council meeting heard a 3 minute speech from Terry Galloway, a former care leaver prior to the motion to exempt care leavers from Council Tax being voted on.

Being a suspicious person, when I head the leader of the Council had received a letter from the Leader of the County Council asking us to support this. My mind started investigating, and could not see the big picture, I thought we were being short changed with the information, so it set my mind racing. But Now I have heard Terry Galloway he has answered all my questions and I fully support this proposal. Labour Councillor in a Conservative Controlled Council.

As the council went through each agenda item until it came to the Council Tax Exemption,  mic’s accros the polictal spectrum lit as councillors spoke one by one in support.

“I was so moved, I was listening to what many perceive as faddy muddy councillors. They spoke one by one about a subject dear to my heart. It was like an energy field had engulfed the room. At every turn these councillors who serve the community were inspired, they wanted to join the revolution, the army, they were demanding action and better still, they wanted to be part of it

Inside I am so proud, this was such a historical moment. I was late, but I managed to inspire and even though I got what I wanted, I know that those Councillors went home tonight knowing inside that they made such a difference.

Terry Galloway, Director at NGalloway has been working behind the scenes to create joined  ‘Local Offers’ in 2 – Tier Councils for care leavers in England.  Every council in England and Wales is currently creating an offer as part of the Children and Social Care Act 2017.

The issue tonight was that the proposal had a definition of care leavers that included the following sentence;

“No Reduction will be made for Care Leavers of other Authorities living within the area”

The Council deleted the sentence.

We created NGalloway because it fits nicely with the work we are doing with children in care and care leavers. As we expand we will create job opportunities for care leavers and as we consolidate our position in the housing market we can have influence on things such as protecting the rights of some of the most vulnerable in society.

Last year all 7 district councils in Nottinghamshire changed their rules regarding council tax exemption for Care Leavers meaning those in work don’t pay until they reach 25. This was the first of its kind and led the way for the joined up offer. https://ngalloway.co.uk/council-tax-exemption-for-care-leavers/

In 2-teir Local Authority areas services are split between County and District. The County Council are responsible for Social Care, Education, Libraries and Roads whilst other services such as waste, housing and leisure are run by the District and Borough councils

It’s very different in unitary authority areas such as Nottingham City, Derby City and Leicester City because they have one set of councillors and policy makers across all services. The Social services in a unitary authority only have to walk down the corridor to talk to the housing department but in a 2-tier such as Nottinghamshire and derbyshire they have to talk to 7 or 8 housing departments.

It can’t be underestimated how far we have come here in Nottinghamshire and we aim to take that learning into Derbyshire and although the work is challenging Terry hopes as it expands in the D2N2 region we will finally have enough of an example to go National.

Changing the care system so our children are better prepared is my mission in life said

Terry Galloway who says his family were destroyed by the care system because they were never prepared now uses the resilience and unique experience to influence change.

He sees this as an opportunity to make a real difference to society as a whole because it affects us all. We all know someone that could do with a bit of help.

Over the last 2 Years Terry has been working on a model which includes;

Health and Wellbeing

Relationships

Education and training

Employment

Accommodation

Participation in society

We created NGalloway because it fits nicely with the work we are doing with children in care and care leavers. As we expand we will create job opportunities for care leavers and as we consolidate our position in the housing market we can have influence on things such as protecting the rights of some of the most vulnerable in society.

Terry who was in care himself and lived in over 100 places by the time he was 15.

“We have already launched a problem solving service for landlords and agents to prevent tenancy breakdown, illegal evictions and homelessness.  We are especially good at this because we understand the issues and think outside the box and don’t have the normal constraints that local authorities have.”

NGalloway came to the market in Nottinghamshire because of the huge 32,000 property Selective Licensing scheme and are expanding their services. The long term strategy is that we will actually deliver these schemes in partnership with councils and landlords street by street. We are building up an evidence base of what works and how best to achieve the specific outcomes of Selective Licensing.

In our view although very controversial, the scheme is already having a positive impact on tenants and landlords. Landlords are coming to us for help and property conditions are improving as a result.

Problem solving

At NGalloway we now offer problem solving to landlords and agents who have complications in their tenancies and we can negotiate with the tenant, landlord, council, neighbours and others to find a solution where everybody wins. In most cases we are able to work closely with the council and the tenant to change behaviour, fix rent arrears and save the tenancy if there is a desire to do this.

We provide a bespoke services to solve problems and offer a wide range of services. Check out the NGalloway.shop

For more information or an informal chat call Terry Galloway on 07838317574 or email terry@ngalloway.co.uk

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