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Otley Town Council

Otley Town Council was born from the restructuring of local government in England in the mid 1970's. The previous Rural and Urban District Councils were disbanded with most of their functions being transferred to Leeds Metropolitan City Council. The Town Council was created to cover the town and parish of Otley. Otley Town Council was determined to represent the townsfolk from the very start and has kept its independent identity to be the legitimate, democratic voice of the community. The Council comprises 20 voluntary Councillors elected from within the Town every four years and has a structure of committees to carry out its functions.

11 March 2014
Yorkshire and Humber
Local Authorities
Local Alliances:
Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance, Leeds Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists a number of outcomes that we are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Otley Town Council is uniquely placed to work in partnership across the local community in support of the National Dementia Declaration outcomes. As well as being a statutory body at the heart of the community, the Town Council is currently involved in a complete reorganisation that will allow it to become more effectively involved in this kind of grassroots initiative.

In April 2013, Otley Town Council will be moving from its current ‘backroom’ office to a large shopfronted building in the central shopping complex. Described as an ‘Information Centre’, this building will utilise a friendly and welcoming open-plan design to provide a drop-in community and service hub for the town. Specific campaigns and awareness raising sessions will furthermore be run out of this prominent building – it is our intention that providing information and awareness about dementia will be one such campaign.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

i) Otley Town Council must train our own staff to be dementia aware, as well as ensuring that our new premises are configured appropriately (e.g., lighting, signage etc.).

ii) In partnership with other organisations, Otley Town Council must raise awareness of dementia and attempt to coordinate local businesses and organisations to better reflect the principles of the National Dementia Declaration into their own day-to-day operations.

iii) Working in conjunction with people who might have dementia or memory problems – and with local organisations who work directly with such people (e.g.,Otley Action for Older People, GPs surgeries etc) – Otley Town Council will work over the medium-term to create a local dementia network. While this network should be run by either those who work closely with people who have dementia or by people with dementia themselves, Otley Town Council should be an important partner in supporting this network over the long term.

2. Actions

  • Otley Town Council will work to ensure the new ‘Information Centre’ is designed sensitively for those who have dementia.

    This will include excellent lighting, clear signage and a ‘quiet room’ for someone to take a few moments to compose themselves when confused or upset. If possible we will work with someone who actually has dementia or memory problems, so as to have their input on the new building.

  • We intend that all of our staff will have – to a greater or lesser extent – an awareness of dementia and how they might sensitively engage with someone who has memory issues.

  • Otley Town Council will coordinate a ‘Dementia Awareness Week’ across the town.

    Working in partnership with service providers at Otley Action for Older People, this will involve extensive publicity, media networking and running a series of information sessions about local groups/services out of the new Information Centre. Publicity material will include specially-designed shopfront displays, along with posters and leaflets for across the town. There will be a focus not just on awareness raising, but also practical measures – this will include encouraging uptake of groups/services and recruiting volunteers (e.g., ‘Dementia Friends’).

  • As part of the ‘Dementia Awareness Week’, there will also be an effort to coordinate local businesses and organisations for a training session to be held in the new Information Centre.

    Those businesses/organisations that send a representative to attend this training session will be encouraged to cascade this training (in some form) to the remainder of their staff. They will also be asked to join the regional alliance. Businesses/organisations that fulfil these criteria will be given a ‘Dementia Friendly Otley’ sticker for their shopfront window. The aim will be to instil a sense of pride in the town about our awareness of – and sensitivity towards – the issues surrounding dementia.

  • Otley Town Council will help to establish a local dementia network.

    Drawing-in service users, providers and community groups, the aim of this network will be to monitor the support and awareness of dementia in the town. It will provide a long-term mechanism to both ensure that the town is being supportive of those with dementia and to keep relevant stakeholders talking to one another (e.g., GPs surgeries, schools, community groups etc).

    Initial Scoping