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Concerns over funding for future plans for regional partnership board

CONCERNS have been raised over funding for proposed changes to the regional partnership board by Newport’s cabinet member for social services.

Newport City Council is part of the Gwent regional partnership board, which has been established to improve wellbeing and how health and care services are delivered.

The Welsh Government has issued a White Paper on proposed changes to the way this could be delivered in Wales and has asked the councils for feedback as part of a consultation.

The council’s cabinet member for social services, Cllr Paul Cockeram, said he was “quite excited” when he first heard about the idea.

Speaking in a cabinet meeting earlier this week, Cllr Cockeram said:

“I thought it was going to be set up with a funding pot.

“I was a bit disappointed when the white paper came out because there was no mention of funding in it which worried me because I wondered where the funding is going to come from.”

Cllr Cockeram said it was a concern that no funding information had been presented and questioned whether the council would contribute and if so, how much.

He said: “The worry that some people have is that if funding did dry up, where is the sustainability going to be?”

Cllr Cockeram also raised concerns as to where social services fit in with the white paper and what role it would play.

As it is only an initial consultation, funding has not yet been accounted for in the initial consultation.

Instead, the white paper looks at the development of a national framework for care and health services, potentially through the form of a social care forum.

There would also be the development of a national office to deliver the framework and a chief social care and social work officer would be introduced within the Welsh Government.

The white paper suggests that regional partnership boards could be established as corporate legal entities, which would increase their functions and accountability.

The consultation closes on April 6 and all 22 Welsh councils will have a chance to have their say.

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