David Summers Dinedor

Let’s Listen Day, Herefordshire.

Let’s Listen Day, Herefordshire.

Mental health is an issue that will affect most of us at some-time during the course of our lives. It can be insignificant or all-consuming but no matter which end of the scale, talking about it can be painful.

For most of us complaining about life is fairly easy. Therefore it’s assumed the best thing for those with mental health issues is to talk about them. In many circumstances talking is helpful, however, given the stigma attached to mental illness this is not always true.

It’s Our County’s (IOC) David Summers, Councillor for Dinedor Hill ward, truly believes that the best approach to mental health must begin with listening. With that in mind, he was able to persuade  Herefordshire Council to adopt the 3rd Monday in January (Known internationally as blue Monday) as a mental health day called “Lets Listen Herefordshire”.

Although David’s primary motivation for this initiative is to highlight the importance of listening, he also hopes to convince schools to take on board the need to bring mental wellbeing for all students into the core curriculum.

He feels that by allowing those who fear the stigma of mental illness easier access to the resources and services available, that more people will take advantage of the help available. It is with that in mind he will be networking with companies and organizations to make mental wellbeing more available in the work place too.

Cllr Summers’ says, “The anxiety of “coming out” or if you will, “going public” about having a mental illness is intensified by the stigma that frequently comes with it. Feelings of inadequacy, shame and humiliation run rampant when someone is in crisis. Suggesting they talk about their problems may initially increase the feelings of embarrassment but truly the best medicine for mental illness is to first listen; give a shoulder to lean on and when appropriate, a simple hug”.

Cllr Marcelle Lloyd-Hayes proposed a Notice of Motion at the Full Council Meeting which the chamber voted through unanimously by members of all parties. Cllr summers is now in disucssuion with Cllr Patricia Morgan, Cabinet Member for the portfolio .

Paul Neades, IOC Chairman said,  “We can’t thank David enough for driving this forward. It’s a simple but genius idea, so let’s talk and more importantly, Let’s Listen. Herefordshire could be an example of how to deal with mental heatlth issues and the stigma attached to talking about them”.


N.B: For more details please contact us via our message box or contact Cllr Summers directly: David.Summers@herefordshire.gov.uk  07934702829  

Director of Resources/Section 151 officer resigns

Director of Resources/Section 151 officer resigns.

On May 23rd 2016 members of Herefordshire Council were informed by the Chief Executive that the director of resources, Peter Robinson, had been suspended pending independent enquiries that were deemed necessary. The chief executive emphasised the importance of maintaining confidentiality and discretion while the enquiries were ongoing. Failing to do this would be, he said, potentially damaging both to the individual concerned, and to the integrity of any subsequent investigation.

On Friday September 2nd 2016 the chief executive formally announced that Mr Robinson had resigned as Director of Resources (S151 Officer) and Hoople MD designate with immediate effect in order to resume his career in interim management.

We the undersigned wish to make it publicly known that we have never been fully briefed in confidence about this very serious matter. It is our understanding that the only people who have been involved in this investigation have been the chief executive, the leader of the council and the council’s monitoring officer – with support from outside investigators. It is our considered opinion that it should be the norm for the council’s employment panel to be involved in such a matter, or at the very least for the panel to be consulted before a final decision is taken.

Elected members are understandably concerned at this turn of events but we recognise we are constrained by law as to what we can say publicly in such circumstances.

We do however feel that now the officer has resigned, Opposition Group Leaders – as elected members’ representatives, should be allowed far more information. Otherwise the general impression will continue to be “it’s all going on behind closed doors again…… so much for transparency and accountability… nothing changes”

Cllr Jenny Bartlett

Cllr Terry James

Cllr Bob Matthews

Cllr Anthony Powers

Opposition Group Leaders on Herefordshire Council                                    5 September 2016