News & Blog News Your February 2020 newsletter Be a Trustee for Independent Lives Independent Lives is looking to grow our Board and are now recruiting people with experience and passion in the following sectors: legal, social care, media/marketing, finance and HR. We also always want to hear from people with lived experience, so if you have support needs or are a carer do get in touch. This is your opportunity to work alongside a vibrant and diverse group of Trustees and be an integral part of the team. If you would like to make a real difference to a local charity supporting local disabled people to live independently, then we would love to hear from you! You can find more information and detailed role descriptions for current vacancies on our website here. Five-year investment plan to go before Full Council Five-year investment plan to go before Full Council Members will decide whether to approve next year’s budget at the Full Council meeting being held at County Hall, Chichester, on Friday 14 February. Additional funding for older and younger residents, funding for improvements to the Fire and Rescue Service, road schemes, and projects to generate income in future years, are just some of the proposals being presented to a West Sussex County Council budget meeting next week. They will review the budget proposals which not only balance the budget for the coming year, but also cover the costs of an increasing demand for services. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting which starts at 10.30am. The meeting can also be watched online. For further information about the council’s financial position visit their website. Spring funding window open to community groups Community groups have until 13 February to put forward new initiatives and projects they would like to receive funding for via the West Sussex Crowd. The West Sussex Crowd, run in partnership with civic crowdfunding website Spacehive, invites communities to come together and propose ideas to regenerate their local areas. Since its launch, more than 2,800 local people, businesses, district/borough and town/parish councils have backed projects across the county, collectively raising over £750,000. Visit the West Sussex Crowd to see the campaigns currently live and to find out more about how you can create, fund and deliver your project idea. Call for evidence launched into the economics of Universal Credit The Economic Affairs Committee launches its inquiry into the economics of Universal Credit and invites written contributions to its investigation. The deadline for submissions is 29 February 2020. The Committee will examine whether Universal Credit is meeting its original objectives and whether the policy assumptions reflected in its design are appropriate for different groups of claimants. It will also examine the extent to which Universal Credit meets the needs of claimants in today’s labour market and changing world of work. The Committee is seeking answers to the following questions: How well has Universal Credit met its original objectives? Were the original objectives and assumptions the right ones? How should they change? What have been the positive and negative economic effects of Universal Credit? What effect has fiscal retrenchment had on the ability of Universal Credit to successfully deliver its objectives? Which claimants have benefited most from the Universal Credit reforms and which have lost out? How has the world of work changed since the introduction of Universal Credit? Does Universal Credit’s design adequately reflect the reality of low-paid work? If Universal Credit does not adequately reflect the lived experiences of low-paid workers, how should it be reformed? They are looking to hear from as diverse a range of views as possible because hearing from a range of different perspectives means Committees are better informed and can more effectively scrutinise public policy and legislation. They encourage anyone with experience or expertise on the issue under investigation to share their views with the Committee, with the full knowledge that their views have value and are welcome. NAWRA needs to receive responses by 12 February 2020. The survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8HQSFZC Did you know we offer free training? At Independent Lives, we offer free Skills for Care funded training for Personal Assistants working with adults. The subjects available are Basic First Aid, Manual Handling & Medication. Each attendee will also receive a training workbook in Safeguarding Adults and Infection Control. All of our training dates are available to book via our website. These will be in Hampshire and other areas in West Sussex. To find out more about the free training we offer please click here. To view all our free training courses please click here.