Weeknotes: Week Three – Central H/Eating…

Third weeknote?! How?!

So there’s now a crew of Weeknoters across Dorset Council who’ve been recruited by Neil Lawrence to thump out some words every now and again and we’ve been crowned the League of Awesome Dorset Women doing Weeknotes…or something. Andy Sandford has started a punch up about scones #creamfirst and I’m really enjoying reading what everyone’s been up to.

My week has focussed on budget prep and casework. Budget first. We’ve got Scrutiny next week so I’m bringing it all together (well, the amazing team in Adults is, and I’m ‘inputting’ *getting in the way* and ‘providing leadership’ *asking difficult questions*). We are a good team though, and we genuinely want to be transparent with colleagues and residents.

That’s really hard when a couple of high-cost people can come into your service (which you must provide, by law) and skew your budget predictions by a million quid.

So- transform. Help people to make better, informed plans earlier. Support and enable, relabel back to independence. Ask what CAN you do? Not what CAN’T you do…co-produce. And above all- LISTEN. It’s better for our people and it actually saves money.

To casework. I find this simultaneously very rewarding and totally soul destroying, because you have the opportunity to really help an individual person with something that’s massively affecting their life- but that opportunity has usually only arisen cos the system isn’t working or there’s been a mistake. For one reason or another there have been more people approach me for help this week, I’ve listened, and I hope we can resolve.

I’m a caseworker in my day job too, for a Member of Parliament. Different roles, and sometimes it’s hard to switch from a leadership role to an assistant role, but it’s certainly diverse and I wouldn’t change either job.

This time of year always puts me in a reflective mood and I don’t mind admitting I struggle- and will until the end of January. It’s the time of year I lost my dad, it’s the time of year when my daughter had her bone marrow transplant, and then a year on from that, it’s when we found out that she wouldn’t get better, and she died.

Six years ago I was reeling with grief, homeless, jobless and skint. How fast things change. Politics ain’t for everyone but working for and on behalf of others to improve things has certainly been my saviour.

That got a bit dark, didn’t it? Sorry! In other news I’ve worked out the central heating, then turned it off cos I don’t like it, raked a million leaves from the garden (ha. Someone from the council with an oak with a TPO on it, the irony) and eaten really REALLY badly. I always feel shoddy if I eat rubbish, so much walking and eating good food this weekend. Oh- and that budget intro won’t write itself…..

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Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health, Dorset Council. Too many animals. Always room for one more.

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Laura Miller

Laura Miller

Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health, Dorset Council. Too many animals. Always room for one more.

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