UK Government

Department for Work And Pensions: Right to Control: Government announces winning councils

Press Release   •   Feb 25, 2010 10:04 GMT

The next step in a radical shake-up of the way disabled people use state funding took place today, as Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People, named the Trailblazer areas which will test the Right to Control.

Right to Control gives disabled adults more choice and control over the state funding they receive – allowing them to shape the support they receive, or use the money to buy their own services or equipment.

Disabled people in the Trailblazer areas can expect a more personalised service joining up housing, support into work and community care. There will also be extra support and advice to help people choose services and decide how to spend their money.

Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People, said:
“Disabled people are the experts in their own lives and that is why, through the Right to Control, we have worked with them to give people more control over the funding they receive and the services they use.

“Jobcentre Plus will be working closely with the local authorities in the Trailblazer areas to help to deliver this greater independence that disabled people tell me they want.”

“The local authorities announced today will be at the forefront of this innovative approach to delivering services to disabled people, and will help identify whether Right to Control should be rolled out more widely.”

Baroness Jane Campbell, Chair of the Right to Control Advisory Group, and part of the selection panel for the Trailblazers, said:
“The Right to Control will give disabled people real control of their lives, and not just mean we have to make do with the services that are available. For the first time disabled people will be able to design their support and who delivers it from beginning to end. I’m very excited about working with the chosen Trailblazer areas to make choice for disabled people a reality.”

Under the Right to Control, disabled people will be able to organise their current support arrangements to better meet their needs, choose a cash payment to buy their own support services or equipment, or have a mixture of both.  Alternatively, if people are happy with the support they currently receive, they won’t have to change anything.

For example, someone with a learning disability may get help from Supporting People to learn skills like cooking and budgeting. They may also get support from Work Choice, which helps people find a job. They could choose to combine their support by paying for a local college course, where they learn life skills and job skills.

The eight Trailblazing local authorities have been named as: 
- Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Sheffield City Council (joint) 
- Essex County Council
- Greater Manchester – incorporating Manchester City Council, Oldham Council, Bury Council, Stockport Metropolitan   Borough Council and Trafford Council 
- Leicester City Council
- London Borough of Barnet
- London Borough of Newham
- Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, and 
- Surrey County Council (two Districts Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council)

Each of these local authorities will have to work with disabled people to develop individual support plans and each plan will make effective use of all the funding available to an individual, to meet their goals.

£7 million will be available for Trailblazer local authorities and Jobcentre Plus to make the changes necessary to deliver the Right to Control.

Notes to editors

1. We selected a range of local authorities, so that the Right to Control  is tested in many different ways – eg areas with different geography and demography (eg urban/rural, borough/unitary authority, age profile, BME profile, economic conditions)

2. Areas selected demonstrated a commitment to personalising services for disabled people. Authorities will be giving control back to local disabled people - devolving decisions to individuals.

3. Trailblazer authorities will continue working with disabled people and service providers in their area, to decide how to run the Trailblazer. Trailblazers will start before the end of 2010. Trailblazers will also join up with other government initiatives operating in the same areas eg Personal Health Budgets or Jobs First.

4. Disabled people will be able to have more control over the funding and services available through these funding streams: Access to Work, Work Choice, Supporting People, Disabled Facilities Grant, the Independent Living Fund and Adult Community Care.

5. The government is today also publishing a consultation on the regulations that will govern the trailblazers. This is aimed at Trailblazer authorities and local disability organisations. The consultation will close on 19 May 2009. Download the consultation from Braille and audio available on request.

6. The government has worked closely with disabled people to develop the Right to Control, including with our Advisory Group, chaired by Baroness Jane Campbell.


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