Blandford Forum Town Council
Blandford Forum Town Council Is the parish authority for the town of Blandford Forum and has an estimated population of 11,013 (2017 census), is 409 hectares in area and has approximately 5,058 dwellings (2017 census). Its is the third tier of government after parliament and Dorset Council (formed April 2019) and its legal powers are granted to it and regulated by various government acts. Blandford Forum Town Council is the first council in Dorset to be awarded Quality Gold Council status. The Town Council supplements the provision of local government services in Blandford Forum and provides a range of social and recreational facilities, while promoting and representing the town with other national and statutory bodies.
- 24 February 2019
- South West
- Local Alliances:
- Blandford Dementia Action Alliance
1. Action Plan
1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA 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?
The Town Council is is made up of 16 councillors who are voluntary. Councillors represent different wards of the town. The North Dorset (Electoral Changes) Order 2014 abolished the 5 wards of Blandford Forum and created 4 wards as follows: Blandford Central, Blandford Hilltop, Blandford Langton St Leonards and Blandford Old Town Ward which together cover the whole parish of Blandford Forum. Three councillors are elected to represent each ward with the exception of Blandford Central which is represented by seven councillors.
Blandford Town Council has a role within the town whereby residents and visitors seek information and guidance on a variety of matters. It is therefore in a position to contribute to, and also consult, the community in reference to the following seven i-statements.
I have personal choice and control or influence over decisions about me.
I know that services are designed around me and my needs.
I live in an enabling and supportive environment where I feel valued and understood.
I have a sense of belonging and of being a valued part of family, community and civic life.
I have support that helps me live my life.
I have the knowledge and no how to get what I need.
I know there is research going on which delivers a better life for me now and hope for the future.
The town council made a commitment in 2014 to work towards becoming dementia aware/friendly and training sessions were arranged in early 2015.
The town council welcomes contact in person at the office, via its website, Facebook page, telephone and in writing and responses are always given full consideration and explanation. Staff aim to treat all individuals fairly and how they would like to be treated themselves.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
Many councillors and staff at the town hall have relatives with dementia and they are therefore able to apply consideration and care to others from their personal experiences.
The town council is restricted to some extent as it is not the responsible authority for care and support and financial resources are limited.
Deliver dementia awareness training
Dementia awareness sessions were provided free of charge by the Town Council to Councillors, staff and residents, businesses and local organisations to help provide people with a greater understanding of what people may be experiencing.
Staff have also received customer service training from Dorset County Council, focusing on being patient, understanding and considerate to visitors. They also provided training so that Town Council staff could assist visitors to the office with any queries with regards to service provision and the logging of complaints so they do not need to struggle themselves.
2019 - First Quarter Update
Able to be repeated
Erect Dementia Friendly signage at public conveniences and venues for hire.
The Town Council was approached in 2014 to make amendments to its signage and this was carried out where possible.
- Uncompleted, Investigating
2019 - First Quarter Update
To change toilet seats in public areas.
The Town Council agreed to replace items such as toilet seats so they provide more support/assistance to people with dementia and memory loss when they need replacing.
Blandford to host a visit from the National Dementia Roadshow tour 2017
Liaise with the Alzheimer's Society to arrange the National dementia Roadshow visit, Visit arranged for Friday 7th April 2017
Create a sensory garden/planting area for people with dementia (and other disabilities)
Liaise with Blandford DAA, Dementia Gardens and Blandford Day Centre to create sensory planting areas in Woodhouse Gardens and under the oak tree in The Tabernacle.
Create a design, place order for sensory plants for Summer 2017.
Organise activities and events to get the community involved.
Develop a publicity plan to raise awareness.
- Being implemented
Arrange a 'Dementia Friends' session for councillors and council staff, to be run by DAA Coordinator
'Dementia Friends' is an interactive information session to promote an understanding of what dementia is and how it can affect those caring or living with dementia.
Arrange suitable date and venue (8th Nov 2017 in the Town Hall)
Encourage all councillors and staff to attend.
Raise awareness and increase networking opportunities by inviting other local organisations to join the session and Nicci Brown (Forum Focus/BVM)
Nominate the Blandford DAA as a 'chosen charity' for the Mayor 2017/2018 (shared with the Blandford Scout Group)
Arrange with Town Council events for DAA to sell refreshments
Raise the profile of DAA at town Council events
Mayor to share donations raised throughout the mayoral year between DAA and Blandford Scouts