Wokingham Borough Council has committed £19.8million to make Wokingham Borough, with the support of its partners, the very best place for people with a learning disability to live, learn, work and feel supported. This week the council’s learning disability strategy was approved by its decision-making executive.
The council have been consulting with the Wokingham Learning Disability Partnership Board (LDPB), local charity CLASP and over 150 support groups across the borough, to ensure people with learning disabilities feel they are a valued part of their local community.
People with a learning disability experience a range of health and other challenges that can significantly impact their lives, choices and their independence. Wokingham Borough has one of the highest demand levels for learning disability support in England, providing care packages to more than 500 vulnerable adults with learning disabilities.
With a 10% increase in demand for learning disability support in Wokingham Borough over the last four years, compared to 6% in the south east, the council has been working closely with LDPB on its new strategy to ensure they are able to meet the future needs and expectation of people with learning disabilities.
“Wokingham Borough has the second highest learning disabled population needing support in the south east. With this in mind it is not surprising that we spend a significant proportion of our funding on supporting and caring for people with a learning disability,” said Cllr Charles Margetts, exec member for health, wellbeing and adult services.
“Our strategy sets out what the council proposes to do to meet this need and its approach to addressing increased pressure on its finite resources. We thank all our local charities and volunteer groups for their support in shaping our strategy. We value all the feedback we have received and want to ensure that all our residents feel valued and supported.”
The LDPB, whose members include people with learning disabilities and their families, together with advocates, health care and social care professionals and representatives from local charities, are a vital support network for those people within the borough with learning disabilities. Supported by the council the LDPB offers vulnerable residents both emotional and practical support and has provided the council with crucial feedback to ensure its new strategy allows residents with learning disabilities to feel supported and part of the communities in which they live.
Cllr Margetts continued, “We are proud of our successful record of helping our adults with learning disabilities into paid employment, allowing them to feel more past of the community. We are currently second out of 150 local authorities in the country and we hope through the ambitious plans we have set out within our strategy, together with a new dedicated Learning Disabilities team within the Adult Social Care department, we will continue to support our residents to allow them to choose the way they wish to live their lives.”
To find out more about the Wokingham Learning Disability Partnership Board visit www.wokinghamclasp.co.uk and for further information on learning disability support please visit the council website and search Learning Disabilities.