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Rutland MP Alicia Kearns launches campaign to improve dementia diagnosis rates with support of Classic FM broadcaster John Suchet

For the last few months I’ve been beavering away on ways to improve our dementia diagnosis rates in Rutland which are almost 12% below the national average, meaning we have quite a few residents and families living with dementia without support, writes Rutland MP Alicia Kearns (Con).

I want to change that, so everyone has the support and diagnosis they need to live better with dementia.

As a county we can better support those living with dementia locally by all improving our understanding of the condition, so today I’m excited to announce Rutland’s Great Dementia Conversation.

Rutland MP Alicia Kearns
Rutland MP Alicia Kearns

The first step is a piece of research to understand our levels of dementia awareness, and I would be very grateful if you could spend a few minutes this weekend filling it in on my website www.aliciakearns.com/dementia

Then on Saturday, April 20, from midday to 1.30pm John and Nula Suchet have kindly agreed to launch our Rutland’s Great Dementia Conversation at Victoria Hall in Oakham. John and his wife Nula met while caring for their spouses who both had dementia, they then married in 2016.

John is of course a much-loved presenter of Classic FM, and previously was one of the country’s most popular television reporters and newscasters. Their talk will be a fascinating opportunity to hear their inspirational story and start a conversation about dementia in Rutland as we aim to make our communities the first dementia-friendly county in the country.

Nula and John Suchet. Photo: Daily Telegraph
Nula and John Suchet. Photo: Daily Telegraph

To ensure we have enough seating for this free event, please do register your interest if you’d like to attend on my website!

Last fortnight, I shared the wonderful news that Rutland has been awarded over £49 million from the Government’s Local Transport Fund. This is an enormous investment in new transport infrastructure for our county over the next 7 years, so I am keen to identify the best projects for its use. I would be very grateful for your feedback on where you think the money should be invested in our communities. For example, on new junctions, roundabouts, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings or speed cameras. Do let me know your views via the survey on my website.

Reflecting on this historic level of Government funding, I recently totalled up all the additional funds Rutland has received from the Government over the last two years. This sum came to almost £85 million in additional funds for Rutland County Council! This includes our share of the £23.7 million Levelling Up Funding, £49 million for Rutland’s roads and transport infrastructure, £17 million for highway maintenance, a 7.7% increase in council funding, £3.2 million grants for Social Care on top of £1.7 million last year, £1 million from the Shared Prosperity Fund, £230,000 from the Bus Service Improvement Plan, £400,000 from the Rural Shared Prosperity Fund and an extra £72,345 to tackle homelessness. Our county may be small, but I will continue to do all I can to ensure we do not get left behind in Government funding formulas.

Last but not least, it was a pleasure to visit Exton and Greetham Primary School last week, where I was put through my paces with some challenging questions from Years 2, 3 and 4. They have recently been learning about democracy and why it is important to have a say and vote in elections, so I was very impressed with their knowledge!

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