This is what has seemed to occupy me most over the past fortnight and I suspect it’s been the same for most colleagues.  I’ve also been delighted that our revised approach to the media and communications is proving successful and ADASS has featured in several articles for the MJ, HSJ and Inside Housing. It was even better to see myself share a page in the MJ with my colleague Iain MacBeath, our Honorary Treasurer, who featured in a piece from Hertfordshire County Council on the Eastern region’s collaboration. Please do give these articles a read when you get a chance. Collaboration played a theme in these pieces — a collaboration between ADASS and partners, between authorities and between council Directorates, it’s these collaborations that will help along the way to tackling many of the issues we face in the sector today.

ADASS Vice President, James Bullion and his team at Norfolk County Council were also featured in ITV Tonight’s ‘Growing Old: Social Care Crisis’ back in September. Following the momentum of Panorama back in May and June, this was another great opportunity. If you’ve not seen this one, you still have time to catch it on the ITV hub.

I’ve been very busy at Central Bedfordshire this week with our budget setting sessions — some very long days. It’s important to remember why we do this though, of course. We wouldn’t be able to offer good quality care without these sessions to help make sure we can get the funds we need to support our services. I am hopeful that Monday’s Queen’s Speech will give us more positive news following the short-term funding announced in the Spending Round: long-term funding reform. It’s with this that we can then look towards a long-term plan. I am ever hopeful that we can do this.

We’re now edging ever closer to the 31 October deadline to leave the European Union. There’s plenty of work still to do though to maintain continuity of care in the event of a no-deal. Every authority will be affected in their own ways, but our focuses are probably all very much the same. I am working with both ADASS in my role as President, and in my local authority as a DASS to try to keep any impact minimal. Regardless of what happens, people who need care and support now will still need it on 1 November. At ADASS we’ve been working with our partners at DHSC, CQC and beyond to mitigate the risks for our most vulnerable.

Finally, Martin Samuels is standing down from his role as Regional Lead Trustee for ADASS. I want to take this opportunity to thank Martin for all of his time and dedication towards the role and wish him all the best for the future.