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Councillor Wendy Rider stands down from Adult Services Portfolio Holder role

May 3, 2022 12:30 PM
Originally published by Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats

Cllr Wendy RiderBrickhill Liberal Democrat Councillor Wendy Rider has taken the decision to stand down from her role as the Portfolio Holder for Adult Services. Councillor Rider will be put forward for the position of Deputy Speaker at the Council's Annual General Meeting.

Councillor Rider has been Portfolio Holder for Adult Services on Mayor Dave Hodgson's Executive since 2019. Since then, Councillor Rider has had many successes in her role, including overseeing the COVID-19 pandemic, revolutionary changes to the Adult Social Care Charging Policy and managing a quality service despite huge pressures and government cuts.

Councillor Wendy Rider said "Firstly, I want to take this time to say a big thank you to everyone I have worked with within Adult Services. The past few years have been incredibly challenging, but the department, led by Kate Walker, should be very proud of how we have got through this. The care and resilience I have seen from frontline workers in such difficult circumstances has been inspiring and I am so grateful for all their hard work. With the pandemic now becoming more manageable, I feel like it is the right time to step away from my role and focus on other things. There are of course still challenges ahead within the department, but I look forward to supporting my successor in their role moving forward."

As well as helping to oversee the department's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and managing the pressures that come with an ageing population and nationally underfunded service, Councillor Rider has also helped to make real changes to policy. Most recently the Council's Adult Social Care Charging Policy was changed to ensure most vulnerable on the lowest incomes are treated fairly and supported with the cost of their adult social care. For the first time, residents claiming Universal Credit are now recognised within the policy. Residents have now also been given an allowance to claim broadband costs, which previously was not included in the policy, to help with using internet equipment that meets their needs for their social care.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said "Wendy has been great in her role. This is even more impressive when you consider what the department has been through in the last two years. She should be very proud of what her and the team have achieved and she will be greatly missed on the Executive. Thank you for all your hard work and support."