Micro businesses could be set up in Flintshire to meet the shortfall in the number of home carers available to support the elderly.
Community-based social enterprises are being explored as an option by Flintshire Council as it looks to meet the demand for domiciliary care in the county.
The move was backed by members of the local authority’s ruling administration when they met earlier today.
A senior politician said it would strengthen their ability to help people live independently and address the difficulties faced by councils across the country in finding enough home carers, particularly in rural areas.
Speaking at County Hall in Mold, Cllr Christine Jones, cabinet member for social services, said: “In a nutshell, it’s more community-based care, setting up little pockets in areas that are short of domiciliary care.
“Getting good quality domiciliary care is so important and if we can get home-based companies set up in communities where they know the people, it’s almost like going back to the old way of working to help your neighbour.
“It’s a new initiative, it’s very exciting and it’s something we’ve not tried before, but we know we can make it work.
“We know it is something which is needed, especially with the way the market is at the moment.”
The proposals are currently in the planning phase, with due diligence being carried out around the new model.
A similar scheme is also being explored by councillors in Powys.
Other new ideas which were supported in Flintshire included placing the running of Theatr Clwyd in Mold into trust ownership, with a final decision set to be made before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the relocation of CCTV monitoring services to Wrexham was also given the green light in a bid to save money.
Cllr Derek Butler, cabinet member for economic development, said it was important for the authority to continue exploring alternative ways to provide services.
He said: “This again is Flintshire being proactive and ahead of the game.
“Because we’ve learnt from other models we’ve already put in the system, there are opportunities out there to anchor our present services by finding markets to reinforce them.
“We’re already providing some services for our neighbours, so if there are opportunities we need to explore that before they get in.”
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).