Stockport Council ran a consultation on its website for residents to comment as part of plans to reduce spending on the Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) service in 2018/19.
The Liberal Democrat Group on Stockport Council responded to the questions in the following way.
- We agree that advice drop-in sessions should be available at Fred Perry House on weekdays from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
- We strongly agree that advice drop in sessions should also be available in selected community locations.
- We believe that drop-in sessions should be available in Cheadle, Marple and Brinnington (a maximum of three locations could be given).
- We strongly agree that appointments for more complex advice should be available in community locations.
- We suggested that the three community locations where appointments should be available should be Cheadle, Marple and Brinnington.
- We strongly agree that people who are able to self-serve using digital services should be encouraged to do so, enabling face to face services to be prioritised for the most vulnerable.
- We strongly agree that home visits should be available for people with a physical or mental health issue which prevents them coming into Fred Perry House or a community location.
The Information, Advice & Guidance service offers vital support to residents across the borough of Stockport.
Improvements in the council’s online IAG over recent years are welcome and the Liberal Democrat group is keen to support further positive developments in this area. We should acknowledge, though, that however much work is done to encourage residents to use online services, some people will always need support either over the telephone or face to face. The council should continue to support residents who need that additional support and who are often our most vulnerable residents.
Stockport’s most vulnerable residents don’t all live in priority areas and IAG provision should continue in communities across the borough. There are pockets of deprivation and vulnerable residents across the borough and their needs should be addressed.
IAG is a service that can prevent problems from growing and from further costs being incurred further down the line. The Liberal Democrat group believes that a strong, well-supported IAG service is an important way to support the residents of Stockport.